Bill Maher is going back to work without his writers.

The comedian said on social media Wednesday that Real Time with Bill Maher will return to HBO. The show will be back with an original episode on Friday September 22 at 10pm.

Maher becomes the first late-night host to return to air, although if the Strike Force Five podcast hosted by Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel, Seth Meyers and John Oliver is any indication, they will not be joining him anytime soon.

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It’s a controversial move given that his show is written by a team of late-night writers, who are currently in the fourth month of their strike. Other talk show hosts such as Drew Barrymore have faced ire from writers, while The Talk was picketed today at CBS Radford as they were doing a run-through.

The comedian already caused controversy last week when he voiced his opinions on the strike on his Club Random podcast. He called a lot of the writers’ demands “kooky”.

“What I find objectionable about the philosophy of the strike [is] it seems to be, they have really morphed a long way from 2007’s strike, where they kind of believe that you’re owed a living as a writer, and you’re not. This is show business. This is the make-or-miss league,” said Maher.

Given that there will be no writers on the show, Maher’s monologue, desk piece and New Rules segment will be cut, as they were during the 2007/08 strike. The format will be a panel discussion with Maher and guests.

Real Time is coming back, unfortunately, sans writers or writing,” Maher wrote on social media today. “It has been five months, and it is time to bring people back to work. The writers have important issues that I sympathize with, and hope they are addressed to their satisfaction, but they are not the only people with issues, problems, and concerns.” (see the post below).

Real Time with Bill Maher, which has been renewed by the Warner Bros. Discovery-owned network through 2024, is exec produced by Maher,  Sheila Griffiths, Marc Gurvitz, Dean Johnsen, and Billy Martin. Chris Kelly is co-exec producer, Matt Wood is producer and Paul Casey is director.

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