Saturday Night Live is taking its title to heart. Today, NBC announced the series will air the final four episodes of this season live across all time zones.
This is the first time the sketch series will be broadcast live across the United States at the same time. Earlier, we reported SNL will debut a half-hour Weekend Update series in August.
According to NBC, season 42 of SNL is the most-watched season of the comedy series in nearly two decades. The network reports the season is currently “averaging a 3.57 rating in adults 18-49 and 11.022 million viewers overall in “live plus seven day” averages from Nielsen Media Research.”
Because of this bump in viewership, this season’s final four episodes will air live in the Eastern, Central, Mountain, and Pacific time zones. The special live broadcasts begin with the April 15th episode of SNL, which will be hosted by former cast member Jimmy Fallon.
For more details and air times, see below:
NEW YORK — March 16, 2017 — For the first time in its storied history, NBC’s iconic late-night franchise “Saturday Night Live,” which is delivering its most-watched season in 24 years, will be broadcast live simultaneously across the country for its final four shows of the season — April 15, May 6, 13 and 20.
“‘SNL’ — enjoying its most popular season in two decades — is part of the national conversation, and we thought it would be a great idea to broadcast to the west and mountain time zones live at the same time it’s being seen in the east and central time zones,” said Robert Greenblatt, Chairman, NBC Entertainment. “That way, everyone is in on the joke at the same time. Kudos to Lorne Michaels, the producers and cast for making ‘SNL’ one of the most relevant and anticipated shows in the zeitgeist.”
Each episode will air live at:
11:30 p.m. Eastern
10:30 p.m. Central
9:30 p.m. Mountain
8:30 p.m. Pacific
For the Mountain and Pacific time zones, “SNL” will be repeated at 11:30 p.m.
The hosts for these shows are as follows:
April 15 – Jimmy Fallon
May 6 – Chris Pine
May 13 – Melissa McCarthy
May 20 – Dwayne Johnson
The musical guests for these shows will be announced at a later date.
So far this season, “Saturday Night Live” originals are averaging a 3.57 rating in adults 18-49 and 11.022 million viewers overall in “live plus seven day” averages from Nielsen Media Research. This makes it the show’s top-rated season at this point in eight years in 18-49 (since 2008-09) and most-watched season in 24 years (since 1992-93).
Versus year-ago averages, “SNL” is up +21% in adult 18-49 rating (3.57 vs. 2.94) and up 2.2 million persons or +26% in total viewers with 11.022 million.
The show has garnered high praise from critics this season, including acclaim for the work of Kate McKinnon as Hillary Clinton and Kellyanne Conway, Alec Baldwin as Donald Trump and Melissa McCarthy as Sean Spicer.
Said Variety: “Political turmoil has been very, very good to ‘Saturday Night Live,’” while New York Magazine added, “Every single sketch ‘SNL’ wrote for Alec Baldwin as Trump was comedically masterful.”
“SNL” has won 53 Emmy Awards, the most for any show in television history. “SNL” also holds the title for the most nominated television show in Emmy history with 219 nominations. “SNL” has been honored twice, in 1990 and 2009, with the prestigious George Foster Peabody Award and cited as “truly a national institution.” “Saturday Night Live” was inducted into the Broadcasting Hall of Fame by the National Association of Broadcasters.
What do you think? Are you a fan of SNL? Are you enjoying the current season?