Bill Maher’s HBO show Real Time renewed through 2018

ATLANTIC CITY, NJ - JUNE 02: Bill Maher performs at Caesars Circus Maximus Theater on June 2, 2012 in Atlantic City, New Jersey. (Photo by Donald Kravitz/Getty Images)
ATLANTIC CITY, NJ - JUNE 02: Bill Maher performs at Caesars Circus Maximus Theater on June 2, 2012 in Atlantic City, New Jersey. (Photo by Donald Kravitz/Getty Images) /

Real Time with Bill Maher has picked up by HBO for two more seasons.

HBO announced over the weekend at the network’s TCA presentation that they have renewed Real Time with Bill Maher through 2018, bringing the weekly talk show’s run to 16 seasons. According to Deadline, the news comes as the series is enjoying its most-watched season since its debut in 2003, as Maher provides coverage of the presidential election, averaging 4.4 million viewers. Season 15 is slated to air next year.

It also comes as Real Time was once again nominated for an Emmy Award for best late-night talk show after being snubbed last year for the first time in a decade, when Maher only received nods as executive producer for HBO’s Vice, and for his stand-up special, Live from D.C. However, the comedian has never won in the category despite being nominated 35 times, which he lamented in a podcast interview with the Hollywood Reporter where he decried that he’s been consistently beat by Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart even though he claims to do a better, boundary-pushing show, while they just pander to their liberal viewers.

Real Time recently went live three times a week for the first time to cover the Democratic and Republican conventions in a 30-minute format. During Maher’s coverage, he criticized both the Bernie or Bust crowd that were protesting Hillary Clinton’s nomination at the DNC, and MSNBC anchor Rachel Maddow’s offended reaction to Bill Clinton’s speech. He also surprised viewers by agreeing with director Michael Moore that there’s a good chance Donald Trump will become president, though that was before the businessman made several blunders that have been condemned by politicians on both sides of the aisle, while Clinton has received a significant post-convention bump in the polls.

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“Bill Maher’s fearless and irreverent insights make him an important voice of common sense,” said Casey Bloys, president, HBO programming. “We are happy to extend our partnership and continue to provide him with the same uncensored forum that he’s enjoyed on the network since the late ’80s.”

“As long as Washington keeps serving up crazy, we’ll be there to push it around the plate,” Maher added. “In these turbulent, uncertain times, I can’t think of anything more important than me being on TV.”

Bloys also revealed at the Television Critics Association press tour that Stewart’s new project with the company will be an animated parody of cable news that will premiere on HBO Now sometime before the election this fall. The premium cable network previously extended the contract of Stewart’s former Daily Show colleague and Last Week Tonight host John Oliver through 2017.

Next: Bill Maher rips 'Bernie Bros,' Rachel Maddow on Real Time

Real Time with Bill Maher airs Fridays at 10 p.m. on HBO. This week’s guests will include Rick Santorum, Angela Rye, Rob Reiner and Jeff Ross.

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