Saturday Night Live star Kenan Thompson is developing a single-camera comedy series for NBC, and Chris Rock has been brought in to direct the pilot. Called Saving Kenan, the series will star Thompson as a newly widowed father, described as "determined to be everything for his kids while begrudgingly letting his persistent father-in-law become more involved in their lives." Rock has some TV directing experience, having helmed an episode of Everybody Hates Chris and a 2015 comedy special from Amy Schumer. As other cast members have not yet been confirmed, it's not clear if Rock will be making a special appearance on the show as well.
Reportedly, Kenan Thompson would likely depart SNL as a series regular should NBC greenlight Saving Kenan. This doesn't mean he would leave the show entirely, but his role may be diminished to a limited capacity. As it is, Thompson is the longest-serving cast member in the history of the program, having performed on the show regularly since 2003. It's hard to picture SNL without Thompson, but at the same time, the actor's tenure proves he has what it takes to star in his very own TV series. In addition to starring on the show, Thompson would also serve as an executive producer with Clarke and Lorne Michaels.
As a producer, Thompson has something else big in the works as well. He is developing a revival of All That, the Nickelodeon sketch comedy series for tweens. As the show that gave the comedian his start, Thompson is going back to his roots by spearheading its return. While Thompson hopes to be involved in the show's production as much as he can, some of it will need to be done remotely, considering his continued work on SNL and the Saving Kenan pilot. Still, it's very likely we'll see Thompson appearing on the show in a limited capacity. On the movie front, Thompson has also made clear his desire to reunite with Kel Mitchell to make a sequel to the All That spin-off movie, Good Burger.
Chris Rock is also going to be an incredibly busy guy in the months ahead. He will appear in a lead role in the next season of Fargo on FX and is currently filming for the Sally Potter movie Molly. He also has a new original comedy special in the works for Netflix, in addition to the one released on the streaming service last year. Aside from directing the Saving Kenan pilot, Rock is also set to helm the upcoming Kevin Hart comedy Co-Parenting. It's also reported that if Saving Kenan is picked up by NBC, Rock will stay on board as an executive producer for the new comedy series.
With such notable comedy talent involved, Saving Kenan seems promising. However, creating a new hit sitcom is no easy feat, with far too many sputtering out quickly or even failing to be picked up. For Thompson and Rock, hopefully NBC moves forward with the series. This information comes to us from Deadline.