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‘SNL’ Will Keep Live Coast-to-Coast Airings in Season 43

SNL Season 43 Live West Coast
NBC

The banner year of SNL’s forty-second season culminated with an experiment that saw its final four episodes airing live on the west coast. Now, even as Season 43 loses some familiar faces, creator Lorne Michaels confirms SNL will be keeping its new format.

Michaels spoke with The Hollywood Reporter on the landmark SNL Season 42, which saw the 2016 election and its associated characters propelling the long-running sketch comedy series to new ratings heights. The 72-year old executive producer also explained that the initial four-episode experiment arose from NBC boss Bob Greenblatt, as well as the frustration of west coast viewers reading social media buzz for something they couldn’t see.

And while it isn’t explicitly confirmed that every Season 43 episode will air simultaneously in all time zones, Michaels said of making the change permanent “Yeah, I think it is.” In addition to the ratings boon, an earlier timeslot on the west coast also enables easier celebrity cameos, as we saw with an Easter sketch of Melissa McCarthy reprising her Sean Spicer impression, prior to the full-fledged return.

Elsewhere of SNL Season 43, the series has confirmed exits for cast members Sasheer Zamata, Vanessa Bayer and Bobby Moynihan, while other reports suggest head writers Chris Kelly and Sarah Schneider will be leaving the series behind. Alec Baldwin’s Trump is also confirmed to return, though potentially less than we saw him in Season 42.

We’ll likely hear first hosts and cast additions in the coming weeks, so stay tuned for the latest on SNL Season 43.

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