Bill Maher has signed a new two-year deal with HBO. As part of the pact, the network has renewed Real Time With Bill Maher for a ninth season. The 35-episode Season 9 will launch in early 2011. Real Time, now in its eighth season, was often referenced over the past couple of months in the context of Conan O’Brien’s post-NBC options. Like O’Brien, Maher left his network late-night talk show, ABC’s Politically Incorrect, in a publicized dustup and then made a successful transition to a weekly talk-show on HBO. After exploring different scenarios, O’Brien ultimately opted to stay in the daily talk-show business with a deal at TBS.