Oh no! It’s that time of year again when HBO pundit/host Bill Maher goes away for a vacation, heading to Hawaii with his annual New Year’s Eve gig scheduled.
Maher’s Real Time finale is slated for Friday night and will see political heavyweights and a network chieftain join him in further discussing the Syrian refugee and ISIS terrorist sh*t sandwich that is on the world’s plate at the moment.
The series concludes its 13th season Friday, Nov. 20 (10:00-11:00 p.m. live ET/tape-delayed PT), with a replay at 11:00 p.m., exclusively on HBO.
The show has a structure, the opening interview following Maher’s monologue is almost always a specialist or newsmaker speaking about a topical subject on Maher’s mind, then Maher beats it over to the roundtable discussions with panelists, and interviews with guests.
This week will see Cal. Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom as the top-of-show interview guest. Newsom recently went on a school tour to open up about his learning disability, being dyslexic. The handsome former San Francisco mayor speaks to California kids about his own struggles learning to read.
TV host Andy Cohen is the mid-show interview guest. Cohen will turn back the pop-culture clock to 1989, 1994 and 2000 for a three-part Bravo series “Then and Now,” which debuts Dec. 13. His show’s premise is to take you for a trip down memory lane as Cohen – whose “Watch What Happens Live” has a scandal a week as he liquors up his reality TV guests who blab a bit too much – explores nostalgic moments and explores the legacy of events and developments from those three years. So far he has booked Kelly Ripa, Connie Chung, Drew Pinsky, Mariel Hemingway, Billy Eichner, Bethenny Frankel and Margaret Cho, Cohen will examine headlines from those years.
The roundtable guests are political commentator Ben Domenech, who penned an essay for The Federalistt saying: “…And who is coming here? Refugees, and a lot of them – including not just women and children but a surplus of young men. Consider this the ultimate Not In My BackYard issue, and for 27 U.S. states, governors have already stood up to say there is no room in the inn. Except: they can’t really say that, Constitutionally. So a crisis on this point is coming, and soon.”
Also on the panel is Chrystia Freeland, Canadian Minister of International Trade, and Maine Sen. Angus King.
The show has already been renewed for a 14th and 15th season of 35 editions each, scheduled for 2016 and 2017.
Maher headlined his first special on the network in 1989 and has starred in ten solo specials to date, including the hour-long presentations “Bill Maher: Live from D.C.,” “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 fourth season next year on HBO.
Other HBO playdates: Nov. 22 (1:15 p.m.), 23 (2:25 a.m.), 24 (3:50 p.m.) and 25 (11:05 p.m.)
HBO2 playdates: Nov. 20 (2:00 a.m.), 21 (9:30 a.m., 12:20 a.m.), 22 (7:00 p.m.), 23 (8:00 p.m.) and 24 (10:00 p.m.)
REAL TIME WITH BILL MAHER is also available on HBO NOW and HBO GO.