They’ll soon be working live, from New York, as “Saturday Night Live” is the latest show that’s set its return in the bright lights of the WGA strike settlement. Season 49 will premiere October 14 on NBC.
Pete Davidson, who was supposed to host last season, will host the first episode back with Ice Spice as the variety show’s musical guest. The following week, Bad Bunny will serve as the series’ host and musical guest.
Additionally, Chloe Troast has joined “Saturday Night Live” as a featured player. The entire cast from last season will return.
Season 48 featured Michael Che, Mikey Day, Andrew Dismukes, Chloe Fineman, Heidi Gardner, Punkie Johnson, Colin Jost, Ego Nwodim, Kenan Thompson and Bowen Yang as its repertory players. Marcello Hernandez, James Austin Johnson, Molly Kearney, Michael Longfellow, Sarah Sherman and Devon Walker starred as its feature players.
In light of this announcement, SAG-AFTRA released a statement clarifying why it was acceptable for “SNL” to return as the actors’ strike continues. “SAG-AFTRA members appearing on ‘Saturday Night Live’ either as hosts, guests or cast members are working under the Network Code agreement, which is not a contract we are striking. They are not in violation of SAG-AFTRA strike rules, and we support them in fulfilling their contractual obligation,” the statement reads.
The organization also noted that many SAG-AFTRA members who were regular cast members are “under option agreements that require them to return to the show” if producers exercise their option, which is what has happened. The Network Code runs through June 30, 2024.
“It is important to recognize that SAG-AFTRA is fighting against the studios and not members who are required to go to work every day under other union contracts or personal service agreements,” the statement concludes. “We stand with our union siblings across the industry as we also recognize our obligations under federal labor law.”
The variety sketch show was originally supposed to conclude May 20, but due to the May 2 start of the writers’ strike, the final three episodes of Season 48 were called off. Those episodes were set to be hosted by Pete Davidson, “Succession” star Kieran Culkin and “The White Lotus” star Jennifer Coolidge with Lil Uzi Vert, Labrinth and Foo Fighters performing as the musical guests, respectively. It’s not currently known whether any of these hosts or performers other than Davidson will return for Season 49.
The WGA strike has also impacted “SNL’s” typical premiere timeline. Season 48 returned on October 1; Season 47 on October 2, and Season 26 premiered on October 3. Conversely, this upcoming season will premiere two weeks into October rather than the typical one.
New episodes of “Saturday Night Live” will premiere on NBC Saturdays on NBC at 11:30 p.m. ET/8:30 p.m. PT. Viewers can also stream new episodes live on Peacock.
On September 24, the WGA and the AMPTP reached a tentative agreement after a strike that lasted for 148 days. Just as late night and “Saturday Night Live” were the first series to go off the air at the beginning of the strike, they will be the first WGA-impacted series to return.
A day after the deal between the WGA and the AMPTP was publicly revealed and it was announced the writers could return to work, late night announced it would be returning the following week. John Oliver, Seth Meyers, Jimmy Fallon, Stephen Colbert and Jimmy Kimmel announced their return in a joint statement. Though HBO’s “Real Time with Bill Maher” was technically the first late night show to return, of the major five late night comedy shows, “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver” was the first to return Sunday.