NBC has announced that Saturday Night Live will return for its 49th season on Oct. 14 with former cast member Pete Davidson hosting the premiere and Ice Spice serving as musical guest.
The entire cast from Season 48 will return, and they’ll be joined by one new cast member, Chloe Troast, who joins SNL as a featured player. Meanwhile, James Austin Johnson and Sarah Sherman have been promoted from featured players to repertory status, and don’t forget that Cecily Strong left the show midway through last season following 11 seasons on the sketch show.
Troast has worked closely with Please Don’t Destroy — Ben Marshall, John Higgins, and Martin Herlihy, who write and star in SNL‘s digital shorts. Troast, who nearly joined SNL last year, appears alongside the trio in their upcoming Peacock comedy The Treasure of Foggy Mountain, which begins streaming on Nov. 17.
Bad Bunny will pull double duty, hosting — for the first time — and performing on Oct. 21, and there will be a Halloween episode on Oct. 28, though it’s unclear who will host or serve as musical guest. As for Davidson, he was supposed to host the show last season to promote his Peacock series Bupkis, but the strike forced Season 48 to end early. He’s now stumping for Sony’s GameStop movie Dumb Money.
The return of SNL may have caught some of its cast members off-guard, as Weekend Update hosts Colin Jost and Michael Che had actually planned to perform at Radio City Music Hall on Oct. 14, though their show was rescheduled for the following night in lieu of Saturday Night Live. Of course, the reason that SNL can continue at all in the middle of the ongoing SAG-AFTRA strike is that it’s on a different contract — the same Network Code that covers late-night shows.
“Our members appearing on Saturday Night Live either as hosts, guests, or cast members are working under the Network Code agreement, which is not a contract we are striking. They are not in violation of SAG-AFTRA strike rules, and we support them in fulfilling their contractual obligations,” the union said in a statement on Wednesday.
That same Network Code also covers daytime talk shows, including The Drew Barrymore Show, which will return on Oct. 16. However, the show’s three co-head writers — Chelsea White, Cristina Kinon, and Liz Koe — declined to return following the WGA strike, and the show’s producers are now interviewing new writers. Clearly, they felt hurt that production initially planned to carry on without them before being pressured into reversing course, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they’ve received other offers.
The Hollywood Reporter broke the news about the exit of Barrymore’s three WGA writers.