Sky Italia to Launch Local Version of 'Saturday Night Live'

Saturday Night Live the Exhibition - H 2015
Courtesy of Premiere Exhibitions

Saturday Night Live the Exhibition - H 2015

NBC's popular sketch comedy show is returning to Italy.

NBCUniversal International Formats has inked a deal with European pay TV giant Sky to bring a local version of the Emmy award-winning Saturday Night Live to Italy.

The new show will air on Sky Italia's free-to-air channel TV8

Italian audiences are already familiar with the franchise, as Sky Italia has broadcast the American version of the show on its FX channel in the past. 

Mediaset channel Italia 1 also launched a local version, Saturday Night Live From Milano, in 2006. The series was pulled after four seasons, though, after audiences failed to catch on to a non-New York version of the show. And its Tuesday-night spot didn't draw in big ratings. 

Popular actor and host Claudio Bisio will front the show on TV8. Bisio recently served as a judge on Italia’s Got Talent and as a presenter for Kid’s Got Talent Italia.

FTM Entertainment is producing the localized SNL, with six 90-minute episodes launching on Saturday in the 9 p.m. time slot.

Just like the U.S. show, each week will feature sketches poking fun at topical and political subject matter from a group of young Italian comedians. This is the 12th international version of SNL, with such countries as France, Poland and South Korea already airing popular local versions of the show.

"It is great to be partnering with Sky Italia on SNL," said Ana Langenberg, senior vp format sales and production at NBCUniversal International Formats. "As such an iconic brand, the show will remain true to its format, but we can’t wait to see FTM Entertainment and Sky put their own twist on it to keep it fresh and culturally relevant for local audiences."

SNL launched in 1975 and is now airing its 43rd season on NBC. It has earned a record 45 Emmys and 202 nominations since its debut.