With the tentative deal between AMPTP and WGA reached, late-night television is returning to the screen. Saturday Night Live is suspected to be one of the first returns after the 146-day-long writers strike. It was revealed on Monday that the beloved live sketch comedy show would be back on the air starting mid-October depending on if WGA and AMPTP ratify their new deal.
According to Deadline, SNL is set to return either October 7th or 14th, depending on the status of the solidified deal. Basically, the negotiating committee is going to send both WGA East and West the agreement that they reached with AMPTP. The councils from both guilds will then vote to approve the agreement. The voting is likely going to be scheduled for Tuesday and after the votes are cast, this could hopefully and potentially allow writers to return to work while the agreement is then ratified.
Although the writers are allowed to return back to work, SAG-AFTRA’s strike is still continuing. This would affect SNL as it would put some restrictions on who is allowed to host each episode. The spot of host would have to go to someone who is not an actor, or part of SAG-AFTRA. This doesn’t seem like it would be an issue as SNL has had many non-actors as their hosts, ranging from Travis Kelce to Adele, and to Harry Styles, so finding a musician or even pro-athlete for the job should not be too difficult.
The last time there was a WGA strike in 2008, the writers were at the picket lines from November 7, 2007, to February 18, 2008. After the strike ended, production on season 33 of SNL went back up almost immediately, returning on February 23 with Tina Fey (Mean Girls, 30 Rock) as the host and Carrie Underwood as the musical guest. Back during this strike, SAG-AFTRA was not on strike at the same time as the writers, hence why Fey was able to host.
As well as the speculations as to who is going to host in the newest season, the factor of new cast members to the SNL team is still up in the air. It is unclear if show creator Lorne Michaels (Wayne’s World) is making any final calls as to who will be joining in this season if anyone at all. On the contrary, featured cast members Sarah Sherman (You Are So Not Invited To My Bat Mitzvah) and James Austin Johnson (Fairview) are set to become official repertory cast members this season.
Season 48 and all previous seasons of Saturday Night Live are available to watch on Peacock.