Season 18 of “Real Time with Bill Maher” will premiere Jan. 17, HBO announced. The upcoming season starts off with a bang as it leads with Nancy Pelosi as the first episode’s primary guest, Andrew Yang will appear as the mid-show guest, and Joe Walsh, Kara Swisher and Jon Meacham will speak as Maher’s roundtable guests. Directed by Paul Casey, “Real Time with Bill Maher” is executive produced by Maher, Sheila Griffiths, Marc Gurvitz, Dean Johnsen, Billy Martin. Chris Kelly serves as co-executive producer.
Comedy Central has renewed “This Week at the Comedy Cellar” for a third season. The six-episode season, which will return Feb. 21, will highlight some of the best stand-up talent from the stage of the New York comedy club as well as offer viewers footage of backstage conversations among the comics. Creator Noam Dworman returns as executive producer along with Michael Hirschorn and Jessica Antonini from Ish Entertainment, Ray Ellin, and Ted Tremper, who returns as showrunner.
“Straight Up Steve Austin” has been renewed by USA Network for Season 2. The upcoming eight-episode season is expected to premiere this summer. The interview-based series follows the retired WWE star as he swaps stories about his life and career with celebrity guests and venture to different cities across America. “Straight Up Steve Austin” is produced by Line by Line Media with Steve Austin and Dave Barsky (“Dirty Jobs”) as executive producers. Watch the trailer below.
Writer and theatre critic Rob Russo has launched his new podcast “Stage Left.“ An expansion of his theatre review site of the same name, the bi-monthly podcast features conversations with New York City’s younger theater critics and journalists about the hottest and most noteworthy productions on Broadway and beyond. In the show’s debut episode, Russo discusses “Slave Play,” “Our Dear Dead Drug Lord” and “Jagged Little Pill” with Backstage senior staff writer Casey Mink and theater critic Ayanna Prescod. “Stage Left: the Podcast” is produced by O&M ETC and the team behind “The Fabulous Invalid” podcast in partnership with The Broadway Podcast Network.
“The Last Days of Richard Pryor,” a two-hour special on the life of comedian Richard Pryor, will premiere Jan. 16. Produced by ABC News, the documentary will feature interviews with his widow Jennifer Pryor, as well as comedians and actors who worked with him and including some never-before-seen footage from Barbara Walters’s interviews with Pryor where he discusses his complicated childhood, growing up in a brothel and what drove his success. Additionally, the program will detail highlights from Pryor’s trailblazing career and his work that showcased the world of black America through the lens of stand-up comedy. “The Last Days of Richard Pryor” is executive produced by David Sloan and Muriel Pearson.