New York City, NY - Bill Maher, the renowned host of the HBO talk show "Real Time," has decided to postpone the return of his show amidst the ongoing strike by writers and actors. This decision follows similar pauses over the weekend by "The Drew Barrymore Show," "The Talk," and "The Jennifer Hudson Show."
Initially, Maher had announced that his show would resume production. However, on Monday, he revealed that he would wait as negotiations between producers and writers are scheduled to begin on Wednesday.
Maher took to social media to address his decision, stating, "My choice to return to work was made when it seemed like nothing was happening and there was no end in sight to this strike. Now that both sides have agreed to go back to the negotiating table, I'm going to delay the return of 'Real Time' for now and hope they can finally get this done."
Context: Striking Hollywood writers and studios are set to resume negotiations next week.
Meanwhile, Drew Barrymore, who faced criticism for continuing to tape new episodes of her daytime talk show amidst the ongoing labor strikes, announced on Sunday that she would hold off on resuming production until the labor issues are resolved.
Taking to Instagram, Barrymore expressed her decision, stating, "I have listened to everyone, and I am making the choice to pause the show's premiere until the strike is over. I have no words to express my deepest apologies to anyone I have hurt and, of course, to our incredible team who works on the show and has made it what it is today."
The Impact of the Writers' Strike on Talk Shows
Talk shows, along with other television programs such as reality TV, sports, morning news shows, soap operas, and game shows, fall under a separate labor contract known as the Network Code. This distinction is important because while actors and writers are currently on strike, talk shows have the option to continue airing new episodes.
One prominent talk show host, Drew Barrymore, faced criticism when she decided to resume her show without her three union writers amidst picketers outside her studio. Social media backlash intensified the pressure on Barrymore. However, she ultimately chose to halt production on her show, acknowledging the complexity and difficulty of this process. A spokesperson for CBS Media Ventures expressed support for Barrymore's decision.
In contrast to Barrymore's show, other daytime talk shows have chosen to continue producing new episodes. "The View" has returned for its 27th season on ABC, while "Tamron Hall" and "Live With Kelly and Mark" are not governed by the writers guild rules and have also been able to air fresh episodes.
Similarly, "The Talk" had planned to restart its production but has decided to postpone its new launch date. CBS Para released a statement indicating that they will continuously evaluate and update their plans in light of the ongoing strike.
The writers' strike is a battle between the Writers Guild of America and the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists against the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers. Representing major industry players like Disney, Netflix, Amazon, and others, this alliance remains at odds with the writers and actors guilds.
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