Kenan Thompson could very well be eyeing an exit from NBC’s Saturday Night Live after 16 seasons on the show and the title of current record-holder for the series’ longest-running cast member to star in a scripted comedy that is being executive produced by SNL producer Lorne Michaels.
The Hollywood Reporter revealed that Thompson will star in the single-camera comedy Saving Larry for NBC.
The comedy, which received a sizable production commitment, hails from SNL mastermind Lorne Michaels and writer Jackie Clarke (Superstore), said THR.
If Saving Larry gets picked up, Thompson would likely exit Saturday Night Live.
Sources close to NBC and SNL told Hollywood Reporter that no decision has been made yet about Thompson’s future.
Saving Larry will star Thompson as a father who is left to parent his kids after the death of his wife, with his father-in-law hovering over him.
Thompson will allegedly remain with the late-night sketch comedy show until his new series gets picked to pilot and then to series, reported THR.
The entertainment news outlet noted that a final decision would come in May when NBC makes its series-order decisions. Thompson will reportedly executive produce the comedy alongside Michaels, stated THR.
The last major cast members to exit the series and find success on their own series were Andy Samberg with Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Bobby Moynihan with Me, Myself and I, and Bill Hader with Barry.
“I think about leaving and I fear it,” Thompson said in an interview with THR about exiting SNL.
“This is such a special place, you want to do your part here, but you also want to make room for people that are coming behind you. This was the first year I really started feeling like, ‘OK, I could push out of it now.’ Chris Redd is super-duper strong, and I really look forward to his potential on the show. That was the first time I thought, ‘Maybe I should give this dude more room.’ If that’s the case, then it might be time to move on,” Thompson revealed.
Thompson has been a part of the SNL cast for 16 seasons. He earned his first Emmy for the show this month alongside Redd, Eli Brueggemann, and Will Stephen for the parody music video “Come Back Barack.”
The song was an ode to old R&B groups of the ’80s and ’90s, with Redd, Thompson, and Chance the Rapper wistfully pleading for Barack Obama to return to the White House and replace the current administration.