Saturday Night Live really wants to stress the “live” part.
Deadline reports that the final four episodes of SNL this season will broadcast live in all U.S. time zones. The live cross-country broadcasts will begin the week after Louis C.K.’s April 8th hosting gig with an episode hosted by SNL alum Jimmy Fallon. Following Fallon comes Chris Pine hosting on May 6th, Melissa McCarthy on May 13th and Dwayne Johnson on May 20th. Musical guests for the final four episodes will be announced at a later date.
The simultaneous live broadcast is a first for SNL. The episodes will broadcast live on NBC at 11:30 pm Eastern, 10:30 p.m. Central, 9:30 p.m. Mountain and 8:30 p.m. Pacific.
“SNL — enjoying its most popular season in two decades — is part of the national conversation, and we thought it would be a great idea to broadcast to the west and mountain time zones live at the same time it’s being seen in the east and central time zones,” said NBC Entertainment Chairman Bob Greenblatt. “That way, everyone is in on the joke at the same time. Kudos to Lorne Michaels, the producers and cast for making SNL one of the most relevant and anticipated shows in the zeitgeist.”
SNL‘s 42nd season has been the series best in recent years, both critically and in the ratings. The show had its best premiere in 8 years, and this season has been the most-watched in 24 years. This season has seen plenty of success thanks to politics, including Kate McKinnon as Clinton/Sessions/Conway, Alec Baldwin’s Trump, Melissa McCarthy’s Sean Spicer, and Weekend Update. NBC recently announced that the Weekend Update spin-off series will air Thursday nights in August with a four episode run.
The next new episode of SNL will premiere on April 8th with host Louis C.K. and musical guest The Chainsmokers.