September 24, 2023

Bill Maher loves to talk politics, but the Real Time host may be about to get a lesson in how real Power works.

Two days after WGA member Maher declared he was bringing back his HBO show despite the ongoing scribes’ strike, Power creator Courtney Kemp revealed she plans to flick the franchise switch on the comedian next week.

“Tuesday, September 19 10-a-12pm the Power Universe is canceling Christmas at CBS Television City!” Kemp wrote on Instagram this afternoon using the line about the holidays she coined for Joseph Sikora’s Tommy Egan character years ago. “Come out and really screw up Bill Maher’s Day!” – as you can see below:

In fact, Maher may get roasted on the East Coast as well where Drew Barrymore has been picketed by her own writers and others for starting up her CBS talk show this week

Soon after Kemp put up her post about protesting Maher’s taping at CBS TV City in LA, Electric Company and Power vet Dominic Colon asked the EP “if you want me to organize a NYC one.” Kemp replied “absolutely!” almost instantly.

Buoyed up by a hardcore fanbase from the jump over the six-season run of the original Power on Starz from 2014 to 2020, the self-proclaimed Powerverse has spawn a series of spinoffs in Power Book II: Ghost, Power Book II: Raising Kanan, and the Sikora-led Power Book IV: Force. In the process of putting a fourth season together when the WGA went on its first strike in 15 years on May 2, the Michael Rainey-led Ghost wrapped up its third season on May 23. A high-profile target for WGA East members seeking to shut down shows still in production, Ghost finally pulled the plug on Season 4 when SAG-AFTRA went out on strike themselves on July 14.

No word when Kanan is coming back, but Force debuted its second season the Lionsgate-owned cabler on September 1.

A constant presence out of the picket lines over the more than four months of the WGA strike, Kemp remains an EP along with Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson on all the ongoing Power series even though the one-time showrunner inked an overall deal with Netflix in 2021.

Kemp joins WGA leadership and many members of the guild in their outrage over self-proclaimed “liberal” Maher’s stance to get Real Time going again for more of its short-lived 22nd season. “Despite some assistance from me, much of the staff is struggling mightily,” multimillionaire Maher said as a justification in part for starting the show up again. “I love my writers, I am one of them, but I’m not prepared to lose an entire year and see so many below-the-line people suffer so much,” he added. “I will honor the spirit of the strike by not doing a monologue, desk piece, New Rules or editorial, the written pieces that I am so proud of on Real Time.”

The first show of the resurrected Season 22 of Real Time is scheduled to premiere on HBO and the Warner Bros Discovery Max on September 22, with filming next week at the Fairfax and Beverly located CBS TV City.

While the turnout will likely be strong, no word yet who from the Powerverse besides Kemp will be showing up in either LA or NYC. Out on tour the past few months, 50 Cent won’t be on the picket line on either coast. The “In Da Club” rapper has a show in Detroit on September 17 — and Motor City has labor issues of its own right now.

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