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[09/22/05 - 12:00 AM]
Saturday Night Live Returns October 1

[via press release from NBC]

SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE RETURNS OCTOBER 1

NBC'S 'SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE' KICKS OFF ITS 31st SEASON OCTOBER 1 IN HIGH-DEFINITION AND WITH HIGH-POWERED STARS

October Shows To Feature Meteoric Rising Comedy Stars Steve Carell and 'Napoleon Dynamite's' Jon Heder, Oscar Winner Catherine Zeta-Jones and National Hero Lance Armstrong

Musical Guests Include Grammy Winning Chart Toppers Kanye West, Franz Ferdinand And Sheryl Crow

Newcomers Bill Hader and Andy Samberg Join Cast as Featured Players

NEW YORK - September 22, 2005 - "Saturday Night Live" roars out of the gate as it continues its extraordinary run - its thirty-first season - on October 1. The show also makes its debut in High Definition. (NBC, 11:30 pm - 1:00 am ET)

The season premiere will be hosted by skyrocketing comedy star Steve Carell hot on the heels of his sleeper blockbuster comedy "The 40 Year-Old Virgin" and the return of his critically acclaimed NBC television series "The Office." Outspoken and award-winning hip-hop artist Kanye West will join Carell as musical guest.

Prior to "Virgin," Carell's meteoric cinematic rise began with breakout performances opposite Will Ferrell in "Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy" and Jim Carrey in "Bruce Almighty." On television, Carell was well known as a regular correspondent on the award-winning "The Daily Show" and is currently starring in NBC's American adaptation of the acclaimed British comedy "The Office" which has been met with praise stateside.

Also making his SNL debut is hip-hop superstar Kanye West. The 28-year-old multiple Grammy winner will perform from his sophomore release "Late Registration" which has debuted at Number One on the Billboard album charts to universal critical acclaim. One of the most vital artists in hip-hop, West has been hailed as "the smartest man in pop music" on a recent cover of Time magazine. The follow-up to the triple platinum "The College Dropout," "Late Registration" has been praised as "an undeniable triumph" by Rolling Stone magazine.

October 8 brings "Napoleon Dynamite" star Jon Heder to the show. The musical guest will be announced later.

An independent comedy that catapulted Heder to cult icon status, "Napoleon Dynamite" debuted at the Sundance Film Festival and went on to box office success and several awards (Aspen Comedy Festival, MTV Movie Awards, Teen Choice). Heder is currently starring in the number one movie in the country "Just Like Heaven" opposite Reese Witherspoon and will soon be seen opposite SNL alums David Spade and Rob Schneider in "The Benchwarmers," as well as opposite Billy Bob Thornton in "School for Scoundrels."

October 22 features Oscar winner Catherine Zeta-Jones and music from hot band Franz Ferdinand.

Zeta-Jones makes her SNL debut after a memorable appearance on the show's 25th Anniversary special with a singing Bill Murray. The award-winning actress will soon be seen in "The Legend of Zorro" reuniting her with Antonio Banderas from their successful film "The Mask of Zorro." Zeta-Jones took home an Academy Award for her work in the musical "Chicago" and was also nominated for a Golden Globe (among other awards) for her work in "Traffic." Other credits include the all-star ensemble "Ocean's 12," "The Terminal" with Tom Hanks, "Intolerable Cruelty" with George Clooney, "Entrapment" with Sean Connery and "America's Sweethearts" with Julia Roberts, Billy Crystal and John Cusack.

Scottish import Franz Ferdinand provides music on the 22nd, performing from their sophomore release "You Could Have It So Much Better." One of the most talked-about acts of the last year, the band toured the world supporting its platinum-selling, Grammy nominated self-titled debut.

Finally, on October 29, SNL welcomes record-breaking seven-time Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong and his fianc?e Sheryl Crow as musical guest.

Armstrong's story plays like a Hollywood movie: A deadly disease strikes a promising athlete who not only beats the disease but returns to his sport and wins its top prize...seven times. Armstrong's compelling passion for cycling and his equally strident fight against cancer has made him one of the most admired people today. He makes his first appearance on "SNL" but has tried out his comedy chops in the hit comedy "Dodgeball" where he made a surprise cameo as himself.

Joining her fianc? on the show, Grammy-winning musical guest Sheryl Crow returns to SNL for the third time. Crow will perform from her fifth studio record "Wildflower" which is already enjoying early acclaim.

Also making their SNL debuts are newly cast featured players Bill Hader and Andy Samberg. Hader, originally from Tulsa, Okla. comes to "SNL" via Second City Los Angeles. Hader's improv skills were most recently put to use as a "field agent" on MTV's "Punk'd." Samberg, a native of Berkeley, Calif. also moves east to join the show. Samberg was one of three writer-performer-filmmakers dubbed "The Lonely Island" whose films were showcased on the popular "untelevised television network" show and website: Channel 101.com.





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· OFFICE, THE (NBC)
· PUNK'D (BET)





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