Real Time with Bill Maher is heading to the Republican and Democratic national conventions for two live half-hour specials each. Better still, you won’t have to be an HBO subscriber to watch. The premium network announced today that viewers will be able to live-stream them via the Real Time YouTube channel. Plus, they’ll be posted to Maher’s Facebook page the day after they air on HBO.
The first two special episodes will come during the RNC and air on July 20 and 21. After that, the DNC editions will be available on July 27 and 28. All four will air live on the East Coast at 11 p.m. ET, with the West Coast getting the tape-delayed version at 11 p.m. PT.
“I think people are going to be watching in record numbers, and afterwards, they are going to hopefully be people who want something a little more than the usual gang at CNN or MSNBC or Fox News,” Maher told Variety in an interview.
Bringing the specials to multiple platforms, like YouTube and Facebook, was important to the talk show host, and his push brings Real Time to a wider potential audience. “I’ve been trying to get that to happen for a long time,” he said. “I believe that it’s only good for our show when people see it on different platforms.”
The specials will add to Maher’s already busy workload; he’ll film them in addition to his usual weekly Real Time episodes. Like other hosts, though, his plan allows him to offer commentary on a presidential election that has been eventful and widely discussed, to say the least.
Whether or not things get crazier — as Maher said he hopes they will with a challenge to Trump at the RNC — he will add some much needed humor the coverage of the political circus. You won’t want to miss it.