Saturday Night Live is reportedly making plans to kick of season 46 live from the studio. It is believed that Lorne Michaels is looking into getting the long-running sketch comedy show back to the in-studio format, minus an audience. As of this writing, NBC and Michaels have not yet commented on the situation. Season 45 of SNL was forced to shut down production in the middle of March, which saw the cast and crew experimenting with shooting episodes virtually from cast member homes.
SNL is reportedly looking into getting back to the studio like Jimmy Fallon has done. Lorne Michaels is a producer on Fallon's show, where they are working in a "controlled" environment. In addition to no live audience, the crew will be wearing masks at all times, as well cast members when not actively in a sketch. This comes as the city of New York enters into phase 4 of reopening after flattening their curve, which was initially massive. However, the state of New York will be the ones who ultimately decide if SNL will get back to the studio.
The At Home broadcasts of SNL were successful, even if they left viewers wishing things were back to normal. Tom Hanks performed his monologue from his home in Los Angeles after making a full recovery, while Brad Pitt appeared as Dr. Fauci. It was an experiment that gave people a lot of laughs when they could use it the most and that was not lost on the millions who tuned in for the three episodes shot remotely. Now, Lorne Michaels and crew are looking forward to getting back in the studio as the 2020 election heats up.
Election years are always big for SNL and this year could bring the show some new ratings records. This could be some of the motivation behind getting the show back into the studio environment since election sketches will undoubtedly work better in-studio as opposed to from home. Actor Alec Baldwin will have to be back as Donald Trump, which could prove to be difficult in terms of cast members and guests being allowed back, depending on how the state of New York decides to do with live studio tapings. Regardless, it seems to be working out pretty well for Jimmy Fallon and Conan O'Brien, who is based out of Los Angeles.
SNL is far from the only late night show going through some uncertain times. Jimmy Kimmel, Steven Colbert, John Oliver, and more have all been taking care of business from home, which has started to get to some of them. Oliver clearly wants to be back in a studio environment and the same can be said for the rest of them, though they all want to be able to ensure the safety of their crews when doing so. Variety was the first to report on Saturday Night Live returning to the studio.