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[01/09/06 - 12:00 AM]
Rising Stars Topline January Episodes of NBC's "Saturday Night Live"

[via press release from NBC]

RISING STARS TOPLINE JANUARY EPISODES OF NBC'S "SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE"

January Shows Feature Acclaimed Actors Scarlett Johansson and Peter Sarsgaard, Indie Music Favorites Death Cab for Cutie and The Strokes

NEW YORK -- January 9, 2006 -- NBC's "Saturday Night Live" rings in the New Year with rising stars and hot music.

January 14 features Scarlett Johansson as host. With an already impressive decade of work under her belt at a young age, Johansson hosts "SNL" for the first time, as she receives rave reviews for her work in Woody Allen's acclaimed new film "Match Point," for which she was nominated for her fourth consecutive Golden Globe Award in three years. Johansson attained worldwide recognition at 14 in Robert Redford's "The Horse Whisperer" and has transitioned from child star to leading lady in such varied and praised fare as "Ghost World," the Coen Brothers' "The Man Who Wasn't There" opposite Billy Bob Thornton, "A Love Song for Bobby Long" with John Travolta, "In Good Company" and her BAFTA award winning performance opposite SNL alum Bill Murray in Sofia Coppola's "Lost In Translation." She will next be seen in Brian DePalma's "The Black Dahlia," Allen's next feature "Scoop," as well as the upcoming big screen adaptation of the best-selling "The Nanny Diaries."

Joining Johansson in making their SNL debut is acclaimed indie rock band Death Cab for Cutie who will perform tracks from their first major label release "Plans." The band was recently nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Alternative Album. The band's lush sound has been described as "simultaneously intimate and huge" by The Onion's AV Club. Death Cab's move to a major label has widely expanded their already ardent fanbase - landing the record's debut at No. 4 on the Billboard Album charts.

Also making his SNL debut on January 21 is acclaimed actor Peter Sarsgaard. Sarsgaard comes to SNL after a busy 2005. The actor was most recently seen opposite Jake Gyllenhall and Jamie Foxx in the Gulf War drama "Jarhead" and the thriller "Flightplan" opposite Jodie Foster, as well as the indie film "The Dying Gaul" with Patricia Clarkson and Campbell Scott. Sarsgaard received early acclaim for his work opposite Hilary Swank in "Boys Don't Cry" and went on to receive numerous critics awards and nominations for both a Golden Globe and Independent Spirit Award for his performance as New Republic editor Charles Lane in "Shattered Glass." In 2004, Sarsgaard co-starred with Zach Braff and Natalie Portman in the Sundance hit "Garden State" as well as earning more accolades for his work with Liam Neeson and Laura Linney in "Kinsey."

Returning to SNL alongside Sarsgaard are "New York's own rock saviors" (according to Entertainment Weekly) - the Strokes. The band debuted to huge acclaim in 2001 and return with their new release "First Impressions of Earth" which is being hailed as a return to form. The New York Times adds that the Strokes "outdo themselves" on the new record and "everything sounds bigger, nervier and more spontaneous." The debut track "Juicebox" is the band's first No. 1 single (according to Nielsen Soundscan).





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