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[07/20/08 - 10:32 AM]
NBC's 'Saturday Night Live' Front-Loads the Fall
The show's expanded 22-episode season will launch on September 13.

[via press release from NBC]

NBC'S 'SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE' FRONT-LOADS THE FALL

Emmy-nominated Comedy Powerhouse Starts an Extended 34th Season September 13 with Four Live Shows in a Row (Saturdays, 11:30 p.m.-1 a.m. ET)

Three Live Primetime Outings -- "Saturday Night Live Weekend Update Thursday" -- Begin Thursday, October 9 at 9:30 p.m. (ET)

"Saturday Night Live Presidential Bash 2008" to Air Day Before Election Day, Monday, November 3 at 9:30 p.m. (ET)

BURBANK - July 20, 2008 - Fresh from its six primetime Emmy nominations, NBC's comedy institution "Saturday Night Live" will make an early return this fall to capitalize on the hotly contested Presidential race, extending its traditional 20-episode season to 22.

After making a splash this spring during the Democratic primaries, "Saturday Night Live" will return to the air with 10 new live broadcasts this fall with a Presidential Bash special prior to Election Day, Monday, November 3 (9:30-11 p.m. ET).

Dubbed "TV's Funniest and Most Influential Political Player" by Entertainment Weekly, "SNL" recently featured appearances by Senators Hillary Clinton, John McCain and Barack Obama and the show's political sketches became talking points at the Democratic debates and in the media.

"'Saturday Night Live' always reflects what people are talking about. This is especially true during an election year," noted Rick Ludwin, Executive Vice President, Late Night and Primetime Series, NBC Entertainment. "This fall, we're giving the audience what they clearly want."

"SNL" will make its 34th season premiere on Saturday, September 13, kicking off four live shows in a row, a rare practice that generated momentum for the show this past spring when the show returned after the WGA strike-imposed hiatus. All told, seven all-new "SNL's" will air on Saturdays prior to the election.

In addition to the revved-up Saturday schedule, "SNL" is ready for primetime with "Saturday Night Live Weekend Update Thursday." Three live primetime half-hours will air October 9, 16 and 23 at 9:30 p.m. ET. These primetime special editions will be anchored by the show's signature "Weekend Update." This marks a return to the NBC Thursday night lineup for "SNL," which produced similar live "Update"-centered broadcasts in 2001.

Finally, on the eve of Election Day, "SNL" will present its quadrennial political special "Saturday Night Live Presidential Bash 2008" (Monday, November 3, 9:30-11 p.m. ET). The special will feature all-new material and a look back at some of "SNL's" recent political satire including Fred Armisen's Barack Obama and Amy Poehler's Hillary Clinton as well as a selection of Presidential satire from Chevy Chase's Gerald Ford to Will Ferrell's George W. Bush. In addition, in some cases, appearances from the actual candidates are featured in the special as in 2000 when the Presidential Bash boasted a sketch featuring candidates Gore and Bush.

Hosts and musical guests for the Saturday shows will be announced at a later date.

"SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE" PRE-ELECTION SCHEDULE AT A GLANCE
SATURDAY, SEPT. 13 - SEASON PREMIERE, 11:30 PM
SATURDAY, SEPT. 20 - LIVE
SATURDAY, SEPT. 27 - LIVE
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 4 - LIVE
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 9 - "SNL WEEKEND UPDATE THURSDAY" DEBUTS AT 9:30 PM
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 16 - "SNL WEEKEND UPDATE THURSDAY"
SATURDAY OCTOBER 18 - LIVE
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 23 - "SNL WEEKEND UPDATE THURSDAY"
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 25 - LIVE
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 1 - LIVE
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 3 - "SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE PRESIDENTIAL BASH 2008" AIRS AT 9:30 PM

"Saturday Night Live" is from SNL Studios in association with Broadway Video. The creator and executive producer is Lorne Michaels. Steve Higgins produces. Marci Klein and Mike Shoemaker are producers. Head writers are Seth Meyers and Paula Pell. Don Roy King directs.

Members of the media can get more information about NBC and its programming on the NBC Media Village Web site at www.nbcumv.com.





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