Kenan Thompson is an institution of comedy at NBC thanks to spending more than 15 years as a member of the Saturday Night Live cast, and it seemed for a while like Thompson would never leave the series until he was ready to retire some day. Now, however, Thompson has a new show in the works at the Peacock Network that could interfere with continued work on SNL. Here's what we know so far.
NBC has handed down a production commitment to a comedy that would star and be executive produced by Kenan Thompson. Also executive producing are legendary SNL creator Lorne Michaels and Superstore executive producer Jackie Clarke. The project is called Saving Larry and would star Thompson in a brand new kind of role that could require some dramatic performances on top of the comedy he's already mastered.
Saving Larry follows a man (Kenan Thompson) who suddenly finds himself a single father after the death of his wife. His new circumstances require him to "be both mother and father to his kids," according to Deadline. He won't be completely lacking in assistance, however. His father-in-law has a habit of "hovering" over his son-in-law and grandkids. As much as the series would have a tragic foundation due to the death of the wife and mother, Thompson could undoubtedly deliver plenty of laughs in primetime. After all, he's more than proved himself on Saturday Night Live.
Now, Saving Larry is still in the relatively early stages of development, as NBC has only given a production commitment at this point. That said, Kenan Thompson is an actor who could attract a sizable audience given that he can boast holding the record as the longest-running SNL cast member and scored two Emmy nominations, winning one for the Music and Lyrics of a song written for an SNL episode. If Saving Larry gets a series order, Thompson might have to say goodbye to Saturday Night Live as a regular member of the cast.
Admittedly, it's possible that Saving Larry could get a series order to air over the summer, when NBC doesn't have a whole lot of original scripted series to offer and Kenan Thompson is on SNL hiatus. Saving Larry on top of SNL would certainly keep Thompson very busy, and the odds are pretty good that NBC would want a new series starring an SNL favorite to air during the regular season rather than holding it until the summer.
We'll have to wait and see. For now, Kenan Thompson fans can look forward to him back on the airwaves when Saturday Night Live premieres its forty-fourth (and Thompson's sixteenth) season on NBC. Only time will tell. Saturday Night Live Season 44 has announced its first host and musical act, and viewers should prepare themselves to see less of Alec Baldwin as Donald Trump this time around.