Following stints on MSNBC last summer for the Democratic and Republican conventions, Weekend Update hosts Colin Jost and Michael Che will be returning to primetime. NBC has ordered four half-hour episodes of the SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE segment to begin airing Thursday, August 10 at 9 pm.
This news comes as the sketch comedy series is receiving some of its best ratings in history. When Alec Baldwin hosted for the 17th time in February, the show hit a five-year high. Baldwin, who has taken on the role of President Donald Trump on the series, must be given some of the credit for the season’s success, with most political sketches going viral week-to-week.
The show is having some of its best success since the 2008-09 season, which, of course, also occurred during a Presidential election. NBC also ordered Weekend Update primetime specials then too.
However, these primetime specials have not always been universally praised. According to some, previous cast member Molly Shannon’s exit in 2001 had something to do with the Weekend Update primetime specials at the time, with frustration manifesting over the attention the specials were pulling away from the main Saturday episode each week, as well as the cast members used in multiple episodes.
Precisely what the new specials will cover is anyone’s guess, but a good option is definitely the political climate.
Anya Crittenton | Associate Editor