‘SNL’ to Cut 30 Percent of Commercials Next Season to Encourage Live Viewing

That means two fewer commercial breaks for the 90-minute sketch comedy series

Julia Louis-Dreyfus

“Saturday Night Live” is bringing you 30 percent more laughs next season, reducing the commercial load by the same amount.

The long-running sketch comedy series will scrap two full commercial breaks beginning in the fourth-quarter of 2016 — an effort to encourage more live viewership and thus, better initial TV ratings.

As part of the change, viewers will see more program content with an addition of original sponsored content from advertisers that partner with the show, NBC said on Monday.

“As the decades have gone by, commercial time has grown,” said Lorne Michaels, “SNL” creator and executive producer. “This will give time back to the show and make it easier to watch the show live.”

“Since 1975, ‘SNL’ has shaped and driven conversation. We are excited to try something new and unique that will shape and drive advertiser content too,” added Linda Yaccarino, chairman, Advertising Sales and Client Partnerships, NBCUniversal. “By partnering together, advertisers can capture an audience that only ‘SNL’ can deliver.”

Thus far, “Saturday Night Live” originals are down just 1 percent in the key 18-49 demographic compared to last season (a 1.87 average vs. a 1.89), according to Nielsen’s Live + Same Day metric. They’re up 8 percent, however, among total viewers (6.2 million vs. 5.7 million).