Bill Maher's ‘Real Time' Moves to CNN Saturday Nights

CNN adjusts programming, shifting focus to full "Real Time" episodes.

by Nouman Rasool
Bill Maher's ‘Real Time' Moves to CNN Saturday Nights
© Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images

In a significant programming shake-up, "Real Time with Bill Maher," a fixture of political and social commentary, is set to broaden its audience reach within the Warner Bros. Discovery family. Starting March 23, CNN will begin broadcasting episodes of Maher's thought-provoking show every Saturday night at 8 p.m., just one day following their premiere on HBO.

This expansion ensures that Maher's distinctive blend of insight and humor will now grace two major platforms, continuing to be accessible both live and on-demand on the streaming service Max. Amy Entelis, CNN Worldwide's Executive Vice President of Talent, Original Programming, and Creative Development, expressed enthusiasm about the new arrangement, highlighting it as the dawn of a new era for CNN's weekend prime time offerings.

According to Entelis, integrating "Real Time With Bill Maher" into CNN's lineup is part of a broader strategy to enrich the network's weekend programming with engaging, topical entertainment. Maher's unique approach to dissecting news and current events has already resonated with audiences, and CNN anticipates his presence will invigorate its weekend schedule.

OverTime Segments End

This move comes after CNN's previous engagements with Maher's content, specifically segments from "OverTime," an additional discussion segment streamed on YouTube. While these segments offered further insights from Maher and his guests, CNN plans to discontinue airing them in favor of the full-length episodes of "Real Time." CNN's history of collaborating with external talents, such as Anthony Bourdain, Lisa Ling, and W.

Kamau Bell, has enriched its programming variety. However, the consolidation under Warner Bros. Discovery led to a reevaluation of such partnerships, primarily to reduce costs. Integrating Maher's show into CNN's lineup reflects a strategic choice to add engaging personalities to the network's roster without the hefty financial commitments typically associated with new productions.

The inclusion of "Real Time with Bill Maher" in CNN's schedule raises the question of whether other HBO staples, like "Last Week With John Oliver," might also find new broadcasting avenues. Maher and Oliver, both comedians with a knack for navigating the complexities of current affairs, offer content that transcends traditional comedy, contributing to a news programming hub on Max that includes live streams of numerous CNN shows.

Bill Maher's recent contract extension with HBO, securing his hosting duties through 2026, underscores his enduring appeal and the continued relevance of "Real Time" as a platform for critical discourse and entertainment.