'Saturday Night Live' Moves to Salt Lake City's Mormon-Owned NBC Affiliate
The notably conservative station, which has previously opted to not air "Hannibal," "The Playboy Club" and "The New Normal," will begin hosting the series during its 39th season.
Absent from its regular network for two decades, Saturday Night Live is finally set to air on the NBC affiliate in Salt Lake City.
Utah's KSL-TV, owned by Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints company Bonneville International Corporation, announced this week that it would start airing Saturday Night Live in the fall.
"Starting this fall, KSL is pleased to welcome Saturday Night Live to its weekly line-up, on Saturday nights at 10:30," the station posted on its Facebook page. "More changes and updates to the fall line-up are coming soon -- stay with us and we’ll keep you posted!"
Saturday Night Live has never aired on KSL, instead running on Ogden-licensed station KUCW. KSL, which became a NBC affiliate in 1995, originally noted that the late-night sketch series would not air on the channel because of existing time slot resident SportsBeat Saturday -- but the station's Mormon ownership and largely Mormon audience have prompted it to cut series based on content in the past.
Hannibal was the latest NBC series to get the boot from KSL. The affiliate announced its removal from the schedule after less than a month on the air.
"After viewing the past few episodes, as well as receiving numerous complaints from viewers, KSL-TV will cancel the airing of the NBC show Hannibal on Thursday evenings," read an affiliate statement at the time. "This decision was made due to the extensive graphic nature of this show. … NBC remains a valued partner to KSL-TV. KSL is confident that with the proliferation of digital media, those who wish to view the program can easily do so."
Previous series to get the boot from KSL include the canceled The Playboy Club and The New Normal, both of which were preemptively pulled from the lineup before they even premiered.
A brief debate popped up in KSL's Facebook comments thread following the announcement, with several users questioning how long Saturday Night Live would run on the station before some of its racier content doesn't sit well with Bonneville.