Pussy Riot, Rob Lowe, Matt Taibbi on HBO ‘Real Time with Bill Maher’ Friday!

“Real Time with Bill Maher” is our favorite weekly HBO talk show series hosted by comedian and political satirist Bill Maher.

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Pussy Riot, Rob Lowe, Matt Taibbi on HBO ‘Real Time with Bill Maher’ Friday!

Maher’s take is pragmatic and left-leaning, but don’t call him a democrat. Episodes include an opening monologue, a panel of three top of their field actors, politicians, policy analysts, political writers, experts and/or authors, plus two guests (live or via satellite), one opening and one mid-show, and at the end, “New Rules” which sets up Maher to bring home one point he feels passionately about in his closing remarks.

The panel members are representative of a wide spectrum of American politics, which results in an interesting discussion and a fair presentation of the current events.

While Bill Maher acts as the panel’s head, he doesn’t hide his ideological point-of-view. He’ll end up agreeing with and attacking both sides of the political spectrum.

The last segment, “New Rules,” is political satire and covers Bill Maher’s personal peeves of the week.

Fans know that Maher’s “Politically Incorrect” (shown first on Comedy Central and then later on ABC) set the roots for this fast-paced show.

Real Time continues its 12th season Friday, April 11 (10:00-11:00 p.m. live ET/tape-delayed PT), exclusively on HBO. Allowing Maher to offer his unique perspective on contemporary issues, the show includes an opening monologue, roundtable discussions with panelists, and interviews with in-studio and satellite guests.

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Russian punk musicians Masha Alekhina and Nadya Tolokonnikova of Pussy Riot are the top-of-show interview guests, with Tolokonnikova’s husband Petya Verzilov translating. Journalist Matt Taibbi is the mid-show interview guest. The roundtable guests are columnist Ana Marie Cox, Cal. Rep. Duncan Hunter and actor Rob Lowe. A new edition of “VICE” debuts at 11:00 p.m., followed by a replay of REAL TIME at 11:30 p.m.

Back in February, disturbing video footage from Sochi showed Pussy Riot members Nadya Tolokonnikova and Masha Alekhina being attacked by Cossack militia. Earlier that week, the two were arrested, then released, on suspicion of theft.

The two were then among a group of over 100 arrested later in February for “disturbing the peace” outside of a Moscow court. They were protesting in support of the May 6 Prisoners— activists sentenced to between two and four years in prison for their anti-Putin protest on May 6, 2012.

Bill Maher headlined his first special on the network in 1989 and has starred in nine solo specials to date, including the hour-long presentations “Bill Maher…But I’m Not Wrong,” “The Decider” and “I’m Swiss” (both nominated for an Emmy® in the Outstanding Variety, Music or Comedy Special category), “Victory Begins at Home,” “Be More Cynical,” “The Golden Goose Special” and “Stuff That Struck Me Funny,” and two half-hour stand-up specials, plus the specials “30 Seconds Over Washington” and “Comic Relief VI™.” Maher is also an executive producer of the innovative news magazine show “VICE,” which returns for its second season March 14 on HBO.

The series was reupped for a 13th season of 35 editions, to begin in Jan. 2015.

Maher was the creator and host of “Politically Incorrect,” which was produced by HBO Downtown Productions and debuted on Comedy Central in 1993. The series moved to ABC in 1997 and ran through 2002.

His last book, “The New New Rules: A Funny Look at How Everybody but Me Has Their Head Up Their Ass,” was published in November 2011 and made the New York Times bestseller list. Maher’s 2006 book, “New Rules: Polite Musings from a Timid Observer,” also made the New York Times list, as well as bestseller lists across the country. He is also author of the books “When You Ride Alone You Ride with Bin Laden: What the Government Should Be Telling Us to Help Fight the War on Terrorism,” “Does Anybody Have a Problem with That? The Best of Politically Incorrect” and the novel “True Story.” Maher produced and starred in the 2008 feature film “Religulous,” the seventh most successful documentary of all time.

Other HBO playdates: April 13 (1:45 p.m.), 14 (3:30 a.m.), 15 (5:45 p.m.) and 16 (11:15 p.m.)

HBO2 playdates: April 11 (3:00 a.m.), 12 (11:20 a.m., midnight), 13 (6:30 p.m.), 14 (8:00 p.m.) and 15 (10:15 p.m.)