There's no denying that Saturday Night Live has been hot as of late. Thanks to good guests, good sketches, and an ongoing feud with the President Of The United States, the show is celebrating its best ratings in a long time. Not wanting to slow that momentum down as SNL heads into the offseason, NBC has signed off on the previously announced spinoff series currently going by the title Saturday Night Live: Weekend Update.
The newish news series that seems destined for a different name will be very similar in tone to "Weekend Update." Michael Che and Colin Jost will be reprising their roles as anchors for a four week primetime run in August, and it will debut August 10th at 9 p.m. While Che and Jost will bear the brunt of the reporting, other Saturday Night Live cast members will be making appearances. It seems odd to run a show for only four weeks out of the offseason, but perhaps NBC is testing the waters to see if they can make Saturday Night Live: Weekend Update. a more regular thing.
That wouldn't be surprising considering the season Saturday Night Live has had. We've reported before that the most recent season of the series has netted a 3.57 rating in the big advertising demo of adults ages 18-49, and that the general increase in viewership has made Season 42 the most-watched season since 1992-1993. When you're putting these current guys on the same level as an SNL cast that featured Chris Farley, Adam Sandler, Mike Myers, and Chris Rock just to name a few, you know something is clicking. Even if a lot of it comes down to guest stars like Alec Baldwin and Melissa McCarthy.
This is not the first time a "Weekend Update" spin-off has happened with Saturday Night Live. The show premiered a very similar concept in 2008 following episodes of The Office ,where an elongated version of the show featured a cold open followed by Tina Fey and Amy Poehler doing the news. The show would return the following year for an announced six episodes, but would only air two out of the six. Saturday Night Live hosted an election special in 2012 that was similar, but not as close to this new "Weekend Update" series as to the special from 2008. The first go around didn't gain much ground, but is it possible the Season 42 cast can make it a long running series?
It's certainly possible. "Weekend Update" paved the way for shows like The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, and Last Week Tonight With John Oliver, and those shows all have relatively good runs. "Weekend Update" also propelled former hosts like Jimmy Fallon and Seth Meyers to late night spots so you'd have to imagine given the right amount of love a dedicated show could prove quite popular. Now that we have a date, all we can do now is wait and see if Michael Che and Colin Jost can pull it off.
Saturday Night Live: Weekend Update will premiere August 10th at 9 pm, and we'll keep you informed on all the finer details as we learn them. Until then, take a look at our midseason premiere guide to see what else NBC has planned for shows in the next couple months.