HBO Renews 'Real Time With Bill Maher'

HBO has picked up a ninth season of Real Time with Bill Maher, the network announced April 15.

The renewal comes in conjunction with a new two-year deal for Maher with HBO and also ups the number of episodes from 24 this season to 35 next year.

The ninth season of Real Time will kick off in early 2011.

In a statement, Nancy Geller, senior vice president, HBO Entertainment, called Maher "fearless" and "provocative." Indeed, the controversial humorist has attracted his share of controversy with his views on religion, marijuana and the intelligence of American voters.

"Bill Maher is one of the most sought-after opinion makers on TV," said Geller. "By presenting an increased number of episodes in 2011, we'll be able bring this live, topical show to our subscribers almost year-round."