While Season 48 of Saturday Night Live was cut short by the writers strike in May, it’s looking like the iconic late-night show will be set for a full Season 49 this winter, and it could get underway soon.
While SAG-AFTRA is still out on strike, the tentative resolution of the WGA strike means the show’s scribes can get back in the writer’s room. Technically, since late-night shows and reality shows are covered under SAG-AFTRA’s Network Code, actors are able to host, as well.
When Will ‘SNL’ Be Back?
Deadline hears that the show, which traditionally restarts at the very end of September or the beginning of October, is now likely to return on either October 7 or 14, pending a ratification vote by WGA members to formally end that strike. Since the show’s staff are used to a weekly turnaround, it should not take long for SNL to get back up and running.
For example, when the 2007-2008 writers strike ended on February 12, 2008, production commenced just six days later on Season 33 of SNL for the February 23 episode. Former SNL cast member and then 30 Rock star Tina Fey hosted that night with musical guest Carrie Underwood.
Who Are The Season 49 Castmembers?
As far as we know, the cast is Michael Che, Mikey Day, Andrew Dismukes, Chloe Fineman, Heidi Gardner, Punkie Johnson, Colin Jost, Ego Nwodim, Kenan Thompson and Bowen Yang. James Austin Johnson, who became a breakout for his impersonations of Donald Trump and Joe Biden, and Sarah Sherman, whose quirky style went viral with her “Meatballs” sketch, are set to be promoted from featured players to repertory status this season.
But will the likes of Fineman, Gardner, Jost, Nwodim, Thompson and Yang – some of whom have been regulars on the picket lines – be willing to return while SAG-AFTRA is still on strike? And will all of them be back for Season 49? That remains to be seen.
Who’s Hosting ‘SNL’ This Season?
Hosting choices also will be slightly more complicated as it’s unlikely that any SAG-AFTRA members will be willing to host until that guild’s deal is done. The majority of hosts last season were actors, including Miles Teller, Steve Martin, Martin Short, Austin Butler, Aubrey Plaza, Michael B. Jordon, Pedro Pascal, Woody Harrelson and Jenna Ortega. While they could host under the Network Code, none will likely be eager to do so, given the optics of being on SNL while SAG-AFTRA is still out on strike (just ask Bill Maher).
The show will likely lean into non-acting hosts, especially musicians.
Jack Harlow and Megan Thee Stallion hosted last season. Taylor Swift, fresh from her record-breaking tour and with a new boyfriend who’s also a recent SNL host – Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce – is an obvious choice.
Fans online have been calling for the likes of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, rising rapper Ice Spice and Kelce’s teammate Patrick Mahomes to be invited.