UPDATED, 10:45 AM: Real Time with Bill Maher will be dark again this Friday as the HBO show deals with safety protocols in the wake of the host’s positive Covid test last week. Bill Maher and the venerable late-night talker will return on May 28, the Friday before Memorial Day.
The premium cabler will replay Episode 5 of its Kate Winslet drama Mare of Easttown in Maher’s usual time slot this week.
PREVIOUS EXCLUSIVE, MAY 13: HBO has scrapped this week’s episode of Real Time with Bill Maher after the comedian tested positive for Covid-19. Maher, who is vaccinated and asymptomatic, tested positive during the premium cable network’s weekly PCR testing ahead of the show.
It is a blow for the late-night show, which was set to entertain astrophysicist and StarTalk podcaster Neil deGrasse Tyson as the top-of-show interview guest, and World War Z author Max Brooks and Hardcore History podcast host Dan Carlin as panelists.
“The Friday, May 14th taping of Real Time with Bill Maher has been cancelled. Bill tested positive during weekly staff PCR testing for COVID. He is fully vaccinated and as a result is asymptomatic and feels fine. Real Time production has taken every precaution following COVID CDC guidelines. No other staff or crew members have tested positive at this time. The show will be rescheduled at a later date,” an HBO spokeswoman told Deadline.
Real Time with Bill Maher, which is in its 19th season on HBO, was the first major show to bring back a small live audience in September after a Covid break and a number of episodes filmed in Maher’s backyard.
The show is exec produced by Maher, Sheila Griffiths, Marc Gurvitz, Dean Johnsen and Billy Martin.
After the story broke, Maher posted on social media that he was upset about ending his streak, going back to 1993, to have never missed an episode of Politically Incorrect or Real Time.
Thanks to all wishing me get well – hard to do since I feel perfectly fine, but I appreciate it! Most upset about ending my streak going back to 1993 of never missing a Politically Incorrect or Real Time episode. Oh well, even Cal Ripken had to sit one out at some point.
— Bill Maher (@billmaher) May 14, 2021