Comedian Bill Maher postpones 'Real Time' show return as writer talks resume

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Bill Maher arrives at the Vanity Fair Oscar party during the 94th Academy Awards in Beverly Hills, California, U.S., March 27, 2022. REUTERS/Danny Moloshok/File photo Acquire Licensing Rights

LOS ANGELES, Sept 18 (Reuters) - American comedian Bill Maher said on Monday he was postponing the return to his HBO political show "Real Time," becoming the second talk show host to reverse plans after an outcry from striking Hollywood writers and actors.

Drew Barrymore said on Sunday she had backed off plans to bring back her daytime talk show while strikes in Hollywood continue and apologized "to anyone I have hurt."

Maher said he will delay the return to the show "for now," he wrote on X, formerly know as Twitter, now that the Writers Guild of America (WGA) and the studios have decided to return to the negotiating table.

The WGA, on strike since early May, said they will resume talks on Wednesday.

"My decision to return to work was made when it seemed nothing was happening and there was no end in sight to this strike," said Maher, who is a WGA member. Maher said he hoped "they can finally get this done."

The WGA said it was "difficult to imagine" how Maher could host the show and still comply with strike rules. The union said members would picket the filming of the show.

The proposed return of "The Drew Barrymore Show" to CBS drew picketers from the striking writers' and actors' unions as taping resumed last week.

Following Barrymore, other popular talk shows, including "The Talk" and "The Jennifer Hudson Show" will not be returning during the WGA strike and the Screen Actors Guild strike.

"The Talk" is pausing its season premiere scheduled for Sept. 18.

"We will continue to evaluate plans for a new launch date," a statement from CBS said.

Warner Bros. Discovery also confirmed "The Jennifer Hudson Show" has pushed back the planned premiere date.

Reporting by Danielle Broadway; Editing by Mary Milliken, Tomasz Janowski and Sandra Maler

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Danielle Broadway covers topics that range from film premieres, celebrity news, Hollywood legal proceedings, theater, press junkets, enterprise stories and more at Thomson Reuters. She has a bachelor's and a master's degree in English Literature from Cal State Long Beach and previously worked at the Los Angeles Times and freelanced at Teen Vogue, USA Today, Black Girl Nerds and other outlets. Danielle won an LA Press Club award for her Los Angeles Times cover story about South Los Angeles representation in the show "Insecure" and is a GLAAD Media Award nominee for her work on the PBS series "Subcultured" episode about the gay rodeo. She is a member of the Critics Choice Association, Hollywood Critics Association and GALECA.