Following up on Saturday Night Live‘s most successful season in 24 years—thanks in large part to the comedy gold of America’s current political climate and the new president—NBC is turning the program’s popular “Weekend Update” satirical news segment into its own half-hour show. After SNL Season 42 concludes this summer, Saturday Night Live: Weekend Update, starring Montauk homeowner Colin Jost and Michael Che, along with various guest appearances from the SNL cast, will kick off with a modest, four-episode run scheduled to begin airing on Thursday, August 10 at 9 p.m.
The decision to give Weekend Update its own show is clearly a reaction to the popularity of Saturday Night Live‘s political hijinks, such as Alec Baldwin‘s Donald Trump impersonation and Melissa McCarthy‘s Sean Spicer, and America’s unprecedented thirst for satirical commentary on White House affairs on programs including Late Night with Seth Meyers, The Late Show with Stephen Colbert and The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, among others, which grab millions of views on television and YouTube every week.
“‘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 says in the announcement. “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.”
Weekend Update, which comments on and satirizes the week’s news and current affairs, has consistently ranked as one of Saturday Night Live‘s most popular segments throughout the show’s storied 42-year history. Previous Weekend Update anchors include East Hampton resident and comedy legend Chevy Chase, Dan Aykroyd, Jane Curtin, Dennis Miller, Norm Macdonald, Sagaponack’s Jimmy Fallon, Tina Fey, Amy Poehler and Seth Meyers.
So far this season, Saturday Night Live originals are averaging more than 11 million viewers overall, according to “live plus seven day” averages from Nielsen Media Research. This makes it the most-watched season since 1992-93.
SNL was created by Amagansett resident Lorne Michaels, who continues to run the show.