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The cast of Saturday Night Live will look largely the same this season as it did last year, but a big change will happen behind the camera.
Don Roy King, the 12-time Emmy winner who has directed the past 15 seasons of SNL, is retiring. Liz Patrick, who has helmed more than 2,100 episodes of The Ellen DeGeneres Show, will take over when the show begins its 47th season on Saturday.
Beck Bennett, a cast member for the past eight seasons, is leaving the show, and featured player Lauren Holt is also departing. The rest of the regular cast is set to return, and SNL added Aristotle Athari, James Austin Johnson and Sarah Sherman as featured players.
Patrick will be just the fifth director in SNL‘s history, following Dave Wilson (1975-86 and 1989-95), Paul Miller (1986-89), Beth McCarthy Miller (1995-2006) and King.
The 73-year-old King won his 11th Primetime Emmy for directing SNL earlier this month. He also won a Daytime Emmy in 1977 for The Mike Douglas Show.
King began his career directing local news broadcasts in his home state of Pennsylvania. Later he moved to daytime TV, helming ABC’s Good Morning America and CBS This Morning in addition to The Mike Douglas Show. He also directed several Survivor reunion shows. King is believed to have directed more hours of live television than anyone in history.
In addition to his 12 Emmys, King has also won seven Directors Guild Awards.
Patrick has been with The Ellen DeGeneres Show since 2004 and has won three Daytime Emmys for directing the syndicated talk show (and three more as part of its producing team). Prior to that she spent 15 years at MTV, where her credits include Total Request Live, The Real World, Wild ‘n’ Out and a number of specials.
Deadline first reported the news.
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