9:51am PT by Kate Stanhope
'SNL': 'Weekend Update' Nabs Four-Week Primetime Run
Saturday Night Live's Weekend Update is making the move to primetime.
NBC has ordered four specials of the popular segment to air in primetime beginning in August, it was announced Tuesday.
Weekend Update anchors Colin Jost and Michael Che will host, with other SNL castmembers expected to appear. The specials will air beginning Thursday, Aug. 10, at 9 p.m. ET/PT.
“SNL is having its best season in a quarter of a century — how many shows can say that?! — so we didn’t want them to take the summer off,” NBC Entertainment chairman Robert Greenblatt said in a statement. “We’re thrilled to have Colin Jost and Michael Che continuing their unique brand of news with fresh Weekend Update shows in primetime this August.”
The primetime pickup comes in the midst of a banner year for SNL, which hit a five-year high in February with 17-time host Alec Baldwin. Baldwin has been recurring as now-President Donald Trump since the beginning of the current season, which has been boosted by both the 2016 presidential election as well as the subsequent political unrest brought by the new administration.
So far this season, SNL has been averaging a 3.6 rating among adults 18-49 and more than 11 million viewers with seven days of delayed viewing factored in. This makes the current season SNL's highest-rated since the 2008-09 season, which not so coincidentally was timed with the 2008 presidential election between candidates then-Sen. Barack Obama and Sen. John McCain, during which time former castmember and writer Tina Fey returned to memorably portray vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin.
Back in 2008, Weekend Update aired three primetime specials, with three more airing the following year. Jost and Che have been embracing the rise in political news, with both traveling to the Democratic and Republican National Conventions for specials that aired on MSNBC.