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[04/03/06 - 12:00 AM]
Saturday Night Live Announces Stellar April Lineup

[via press release from NBC]

"SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE" ANNOUNCES STELLAR APRIL LINEUP

SNL Springs Into April with Antonio Banderas, Lindsay Lohan, the Queen of Hip Hop Soul -- Mary J. Blige and the long-awaited return of Pearl Jam

NEW YORK -- April 2, 2006 -- SNL returns with back-to-back live shows on April 8 and April 15 with a diverse and stellar lineup.

Headlining the April 8 episode is international star Antonio Banderas. From his early work with Academy Award winning Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodovar to his award nominated work in the big-screen adaptation of the musical "Evita," Banderas is one of the leading international actors of his generation. Currently starring in ballroom dancing drama "Take The Lead," Banderas has shown a wide range in his many films ranging from action in hits like "The Mask of Zorro," "Desperado" and "Once Upon a Time in Mexico" to his dramatic work in "Philadelphia," "Interview With The Vampire" and his American debut "The Mambo Kings" and his work in the comedic "Spy Kids" films and scene stealing work in "Shrek 2" as "Puss in Boots." He has been nominated for multiple Golden Globes for his film work as well as an Emmy for his starring role in "...And Starring Pancho Villa As Himself" and received a Tony-nomination for his turn on Broadway in the musical "Nine."

Joining Banderas on April 8 is Mary J. Blige. Blige will perform from her critically acclaimed and #1 debuting record "The Breakthrough" which prompted Vanity Fair to extol "she's still the Queen, 13 years and five studio albums later." With a voice that is rough and ready and a raw emotional honesty in her lyrics, Blige has wowed fans for years with her multi-platinum records -- earning three Grammy Awards along the way. The current record features notable collaborations with U2 and Will.I.Am of the Black Eyed Peas. The record debuted at #1 on the Billboard album charts and has remained in the Top 20 since. Its first single "Be Without You" has been the Number One R&B song on Billboard's Singles Charts for 13 weeks and counting.

The following week, on April 15, actress Lindsay Lohan returns to SNL for her third hosting stint. Lohan will soon be seen in the romantic comedy "Just My Luck" and the star-studded Robert Altman film "A Prairie Home Companion" opposite Meryl Streep. She's also starred in Disney's "Herbie: Fully Loaded" and co-starred with Tina Fey in the comedy smash "Mean Girls," which won two MTV Movie Awards. Lohan has also pursued her musical ambitions; releasing two records "Speak" in 2004 and "A Little More Personal (Raw) in 2005 -- and directing a video for the record. Other credits include the hit comedy "Freaky Friday" with Jamie Lee Curtis and Disney's well-regarded remake of "The Parent Trap" with Dennis Quaid and Natasha Richardson.

Also returning to SNL is -- according to a recent USA Today.com poll "the greatest American rock band ever" and according to Esquire's recent Esky Music Awards the Best Live Act -- Pearl Jam. The Seattle based band returns to SNL, making a rare television appearance, performing songs from their eagerly anticipated self-titled eighth album, their first studio record in four years. Its first single -- the blistering "Worldwide Suicide" -- has already received a four-star review in Rolling Stone and is currently the #1 Rock Track on the Billboard singles chart. Since their inception in 1991, Pearl Jam has sold nearly 60 million albums worldwide including millions of live bootlegs and sells out arenas all over the world. Their next world tour begins in May.





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· AND STARRING PANCHO VILLA AS HIMSELF (HBO)





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