Despite the NBC show’s name, Saturday Night Live is only actually airs “live” for those who live on the East Coast, but that’s all about to change — for at least four weeks. NBC has announced that beginning on April 15, SNL will air live simultaneously across the country for the first time ever, reports Variety.
“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 NBC entertainment chair Bob Greenblatt. “That way, everyone is in on the joke at the same time.”
From April 15 to May 20, SNL will air live at 11:30 p.m. on the East Coast, 10:30 p.m. for the Central Time Zone, 9:30 p.m. for Mountain, and 8:30 p.m. for Pacific. However, the show will be repeated at 11:30 p.m. on both Mountain and Pacific Time zones. Hosts for those episodes include Jimmy Fallon on April 15, Chris Pine on May 6, Melissa McCarthy on May 13, and Dwayne Johnson for the show’s season ender on May 20.
It’s been a good year for SNL. Ratings for the show are up 21 percent and averaging a 3.57 rating in the adult 18-49 rating and up 2.2 million viewers (11.022 million viewers total) versus a year ago. NBC attributes the ratings hike to President Trump’s upset victory with Alec Baldwin portraying the president in numerous episodes.
But NBC has a few more tricks up its sleeve for SNL this summer. Beginning on Thursday, August 10, Saturday Night Live: Weekend Update will air at 9 p.m. for four weeks. The half-hour telecast will feature “anchors” Colin Jost and Michael Che and per usual, other SNL cast members will also make appearances as needed.
SNL’s “Weekend Update” segment has been one of the most consistent sketches and most popular of the show since the show’s beginning 42 years ago. Those who have sat at the Weekend Update desk include Chevy Chase, Dan Aykroyd, Jane Curtin, Dennis Miller, Norm Macdonald, Jimmy Fallon, Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, and Seth Meyers.
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Over the years, SNL has received a total of 219 Emmy Award nominations and has won 53, which is the most of any show in TV history. The show has been honored twice in 1990 and 2009 with the George Foster Peabody Award as well.
Also appearing in April on NBC is First Dates, a “voyeuristic look at a variety of real first dates happening throughout one night at the same restaurant in Chicago” describes NBC. Ellen DeGeneres serves as executive producer of the show and Drew Barrymore will narrate each episode. First Dates is based on the hit U.K. show of the same name, where daters of all ages and all from different backgrounds agree to share their first date with the rest of the world, which NBC hopes will play out like a real-life romantic comedy. Just like the old Love Connection TV series, the viewers will find out at the end of the episode if the pair will make plans to set up another date. First Dates will air on Fridays at 8 p.m. and premieres April 7, 2017.
[Featured Image by NBC]