With the end of the WGA strike in sight, Saturday Night Live could return in October with a focus on non-acting hosts.
Details about the next season of Saturday Night Live hint at the show returning after the writers and studios finalize agreements to end the strike. The NBC variety show cut its 48th season short by three episodes when the writers assembled on the picket line at the beginning of May, prompting an all-out stop for the comedy showcase with celebrity guests and live musical acts.
If all parties sign on the dotted line in the coming days, Saturday Night Live could return to NBC on October 7 or 14. The return requires a vote from the WGA. Still, with negotiations finally heading in a positive direction, the directive to return to work could be in full swing before long. According to reports, the WGA West Board and WGA East Council could vote on the new deal as early as Tuesday. Once the restraining order barring writers from working lifts, it’s back to business, baby!
Saturday Night Live, similar to daily late-night talk shows and reality programs like Dancing with the Stars, operates under SAG-AFTRA’s Network Code, meaning, in theory, everyone could return to work. However, several of SNL‘s best and brightest stars – Chloe Fineman, Heidi Gardner, Colin Jost, Ego Nwodim, Kenan Thompson, and Bowen Yang – must decide if they’re returning for the 49th season. The actors mentioned above have vocalized their support for SAG-AFTRA while on the picket line and must determine if they’re ready to surrender their signs and rejoin the production.
Time is ticking as creator and showrunner Lorne Michaels must decide who is a featured SNL cast member. James Austin Johnson and Sarah Sherman are set to become featured members of the cast. Meanwhile, the return of Marcelo Hernandez, Molly Kearney, Michael Longfellow, and Devon Walker hangs in the balance. There’s also the matter of who hosts the show. More often than not, SNL features Hollywood’s cream of the crop as the week’s Master of Ceremonies. However, with SAG-AFTRA still waiting to land its own deal, many actors might be unwilling to get in front of cameras for the illustrious gig.
We should know more in the next two days about the status of Saturday Night Live‘s 49th season. Until then, we can only guess how much material the writers have stored over the past few months. SNL‘s return could be quite interesting.
Originally published at https://www.joblo.com/saturday-night-live-wga-strike-ends/