Saturday Night Live is improving its overall retention rate. According to Vulture, the entire SNL cast will be returning for Season 46, including Kate McKinnon, Aidy Bryant, and longtime star Kenan Thompson. SNL Season 46 is slated to kick off on October 3 with its first live, in-studio episode since the COVID-19 pandemic shut down production in March.
SNL‘s pre-season consistency isn’t a huge surprise given the realities of the pandemic, but it is unusual for the show, which has seen an especially high turnover rate in recent years. The additional season will give newcomers Bowen Yang and Chloe Fineman another chance to shine, as well as Ego Nwodim, who was promoted from featured to repertory player in early September.
NBC’s confirmation that all cast members will be returning came the same day that Kate McKinnon, SNL‘s undoubted star, inked a new deal for Season 46. McKinnon’s original SNL contract expired in May 2019, but in a surprising twist, the busy comic and actress opted to renew for an additional year. Viewers will now get to spend another year with the star, who continues to delight audiences with her spot-on political impressions and no-holds-barred comedy.
Now that she’s committed to SNL Season 46, McKinnon will have a busy 2020-2021 season. Last month, NBCUniversal handed down a multi-season order to her Tiger King-inspired series, which stars McKinnon as Carole Baskin, nemesis of zoo owner Joe Exotic. The series, aptly titled Joe Exotic, is set to air on NBC, Peacock, and USA Network and is expected to begin production in early 2021.
As the election looms, SNL heads into its new season with a jolt of creative energy and critical acclaim, to boot. Last night, the NBC comedy won three Primetime Emmys, including Outstanding Variety Sketch Series for the fourth year in a row and two for its Eddie Murphy-hosted episode. With the new awards, SNL has now won 80 Emmys, more than any other show in TV history.
Saturday Night Live returns October 3 at 11:30 p.m. on NBC.