NBC experimented last season, airing the final four episodes of Saturday Night Live live on both coasts. What they discovered was that audiences embraced the concept, with the live broadcasts growing by 11% in live plus same day viewership. Breaking the numbers down, the normal schedule resulted in an average of 7.5 million viewers tuning in. When SNL shifted to live on the West Coast, the viewership expanded to 8.3 million. The experiment was so successful that season 43 of the variety show will air live on both coasts.
Season 43 is set to kick off on September 30, 2017 with Ryan Gosling confirmed to host. The musical guest for the season opener will be Jay-Z. NBC’s late night variety series’ 43rd season will feature Beck Bennett, Aidy Bryant, Michael Che, Pete Davidson, Leslie Jones, Colin Jost, Kate McKinnon, Kyle Mooney, Kenan Thompson, Mikey Day, and Cecily Strong.
Season 42 of SNL won 2017 Primetime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Makeup, Outstanding Production Design, Outstanding Variety Sketch Series, Outstanding Guest Actor (Dave Chappelle), Outstanding Guest Actress (Melissa McCarthy), Outstanding Supporting Actress (Kate McKinnon), Oustanding Supporting Actor (Alec Baldwin), and Outstanding Directing (Don Roy King). Season 42’s Weekend Update segments with Michael Che and Colin Jost proved to be so popular, NBC launched a limited summer series featuring just SNL‘s Weekend Update segments with special appearances by SNL past and present cast members. Saturday Night Live alumni Bill Hader, Tina Fey, Seth Meyers, and Jimmy Fallon returned for the 2017 summer series.
The new season schedule will look like this:
- 11:30 p.m. Eastern
- 10:30 p.m. Central
- 9:30 p.m. Mountain
- 8:30 p.m. Pacific
- 11:30 p.m. Repeats in the Mountain and Pacific Time Zones
Gosling. JAY-Z. Live coast to coast.
— Saturday Night Live (@nbcsnl) September 19, 2017