Living in the age of a global pandemic is difficult enough, and even more so when your deprived of the things that make you laugh. That's why many fans have been desperate to know when NBC's Saturday Night Live will finally make its return on television, after pausing in-studio production in March. And now, it seems that chances fans can get their weekly fix of SNL-fueled laughter are looking pretty good.
According to reports from Variety and The Hollywood Reporter, season 46 of Saturday Night Live, airing in late 2020/early 2021, will be recorded inside the famed Studio 8H in New York’s Rockefeller Center. The show will reportedly be made and broadcast in a so-called “controlled environment," likely meaning observing COVID-19 safety protocols.
The last live episode of SNL, featuring Daniel Craig and Elizabeth Warren, aired on March 7. A few weeks later, on April 11, the cast (including guests Tom Hanks, Brad Pitt, and SNL alum Kristen Wiig) recorded pre-taped sketches from their respective homes and quarantine spots for the three final episodes of season 45.
Colin Jost, co-anchor of SNL's Weekend Update and a head writer on the show, called in to SiriusXM’s Andy Cohen Live and talked about the risks involved in holding a future wedding ceremony with fiancée Scarlett Johansson, let alone the future of a studio SNL.
"We're waiting on … what the the New York state guidelines are, and what the rates of infection are, at that point," said Jost. "Of course we'd all love to do it in the studio and have an audience, and do it as close to normal as possible, but I don't know which stage we'll be in and what's feasible."
The strategy for filming the new season of SNL will likely follow in the footsteps of NBC’s “Tonight Show," which resumed filming in its studio last week. There is no live audience, the band and the crew wear masks, and host Jimmy Fallon video conferences with special guests.