Kenan Thompson (Good Burger, Wieners) has never been more ready to become a primetime player. Saturday Night Live‘s longest-running cast member leads the cast of the half-hour sitcom Kenan, which premieres on NBC on February 16, Entertainment Weekly reports. This new series marks the first time that Thompson has been a principal cast member on a single-camera television program in his twenty-plus years as a performer. Thompson posted on his Instagram on February 15 to remind his nearly six hundred thousand followers to tune in for the momentous series premiere.
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Kenan gives its star plenty to do, between struggling to keep his in-universe morning show afloat and dealing with the everyday challenges of single parenthood, although he is not dealing with either set of tasks by himself, according to Entertainment Weekly. Kimrie Lewis (Single Parents, Scandal) plays his executive producer and confidante Mika, CNN reports. Furthermore, Thompson’s titular character is assisted in the parenting department by his father-in-law Rick (Don Johnson, Miami Vice) and his brother Gary (Chris Redd, Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping), as reported by Entertainment Weekly. The show allegedly originated a few years ago as Saving Larry with a pilot penned by writer-producer Jackie Clarke (Superstore, Dice) and directed by Thompson’s fellow SNL alum Chris Rock (Top Five, Everybody Hates Chris), according to Deadline. The present incarnation, however, features creative contributions from Black Monday co-creator David Caspe (Happy Endings, Marry Me), who additionally serves as Kenan‘s showrunner, as reported by Deadline.
On episode 40 of his pop culture podcast You Already Know, Thompson took some time to reflect on Kenan ahead of the series premiere. “Am I overly excited about it? Absolutely… But at the same time, people need to watch it and like it, still. It feels like we’re doing our part as far as letting people know that it’s about to be a thing and they need to find it, ‘cos that’s the hardest things these days, is finding a show… It feels incredible, you know what I’m saying, but I still got my humble hat on,” Thompson asserted with modesty and candor. Take a listen to the full episode below:
Kenan arrives on NBC on February 16 at 8:30 P.M. EST following the series premiere of Young Rock. Additionally, an hour-long compilation of Thompson’s standout performances from his fifteen-plus year tenure on Saturday Night Live will be live-streamed on the show’s official YouTube channel at 7 P.M. EST.