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‘SNL’ Marking 40 Years With 3-Hour Special

Huge cast reunion planned

“Saturday Night Live” plans a blowout 40th birthday party — a three-hour live special that will air on Sunday, Feb. 15, 2015 and include a huge reunion of former cast members.

The list of returning Not Ready for Primetime Players, as well as special and musical guests from the show’s run, will be announced in the coming months.

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“‘Saturday Night Live’ is an institution unlike anything else in television history,” said Robert Greenblatt, chairman of NBC Entertainment. “The many brilliant ‘Not Ready for Primetime Players’ over the years is a who’s who of film and television comedy for the last two generations. The roster includes everyone from the iconic first cast in 1975 to household names ranging from Eddie Murphy, Billy Crystal, Dana Carvey, Mike Myers, Will Ferrell, and Adam Sandler, to Kristen Wiig, Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Jimmy Fallon, and Seth Meyers — to name only a few. This brand, which is still one of the highest-rated comedies on television, was the brainchild of Lorne Michaels, who still presides over the whole enterprise today. This special is just one of the many ways we plan to celebrate ‘SNL’s’ historic 40th season next year.”

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The show has won 40 Emmy Awards, the most in television history. “SNL” also holds the title for the most-nominated television show in Emmy history with 171 nods. It has been honored twice, in 1990 and 2009, with the prestigious George Foster Peabody Award and cited as “truly a national institution.”

“SNL,” which has also been inducted into the Broadcasting Hall of Fame by the National Association of Broadcasters, remains television’s highest-rated late-night show.

Broadcast live from NBC’s famed Studio 8H in New York City’s Rockefeller Center, “Saturday Night Live” premiered Oct. 11, 1975.  It is a production of Broadway Video in association with SNL Studios.

(For the record: An earlier version of this story erroneously said that the returning cast members have already been announced. They have not been.)