We’ve known for a few weeks now that Fox is finally getting into the late night game on Saturday nights. In fact, the network has actually enlisted former SNL cast members Andy Samberg, Jorma Taccone and Akiva Schaffer—aka The Lonely Island—to executive produce the project. And while the comedy sketch show Party Over Here won’t directly compete in a timeslot with SNL, The Lonely Island boys obviously felt like they should give Lorne Michaels a heads up about the new series in advance. Here’s how the veteran producer responded when they guys broke the news, as noted by Jorma Taccone in a recent interview:
We called Lorne Michaels, and like with every conversation with him, it was a half-an-hour long and that part of it lasted 30 seconds. We spewed out everything we were doing and how it's not in any way [similar to SNL] and he was like, 'Oh ok, sounds good. What else is new?'
Whew, I guess that must have been a load off. It’s probably a little scary to have to talk to the guy that helped make you famous and to break the news that you are planning to compete in the late night space, but it’s not as if this is the first time Saturday Night Live has ever been on the air around the same time as another sketch series. SNL has weathered 41 years of scheduling challenges and doesn’t look to be going anywhere soon, so it doesn’t really surprise us that Lorne Michaels was pretty chill about the whole thing.
Still, Akiva Schaffer also told THR that The Lonely Island trio was quick to talk to Fox when Party Over Here was coming together and be clear that they wanted to do something very different from what SNL has been doing. The idea wasn’t conceived as direct competition, and in fact, sounds like it will be very different from what SNL does.
Party Over Here will be executive produced by the three gentlemen in The Lonely Island, along with The League’s Paul Scheer. Party Over Here will only star three comedians—all female—so it’s not the huge ensemble cast that SNL offers. Nicole Byer, Jessica McKenna and Alison Rich will all star, and the sketch segments will be filmed in front of a live studio audience in Los Angeles, rather than New York.
The series is also not going to have a fall debut. In fact, Fox recently announced that Party Over Here will hit the schedule on Saturday, March 12 at 11:00 p.m. EST and will skedaddle off the air thirty minutes later before SNL is timed to start. You can find out what else the networks have coming up with our midseason TV premiere schedule.