'Saturday Night Live' announces last four hosts for the season, will go live across the country

Not content to only capitalize on the new-found increased profile of “Saturday Night Live” with an off-season spinoff, NBC has announced that the sketch comedy warhorse will close out its 42nd season by going live across the country for its final four episodes.

The run begins April 15 with “SNL” alumni (and host of the newly struggling “Tonight Show”) Jimmy Fallon, followed by “Hell or High Water” star Chris Pine (May 6), Melissa McCarthy (May 13) and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson (May 20).

“ ‘SNL’ is part of the national conversation, and we thought it would be a great idea to broadcast to the West and mountain time zones live at the same time it’s being seen in the East and central time zones,” said NBC Entertainment Chairman Robert Greenblatt. “That way, everyone is in on the joke at the same time.”

Each episode will air at its regular 11:30 p.m. time slot on the East Coast, and will be broadcast on NBC an hour earlier during central time, 9:30 p.m. mountain and 8:30 p.m. Pacific. For the latter two regions, the installment will also be repeated at its regular 11:30 p.m. time.

Musical guests have yet to be announced.

“Saturday Night Live” has enjoyed a ratings bump on the strength of its political material since the election, which includes Alec Baldwin’s impersonation of Donald Trump and McCarthy’s take on White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer. In August, a half-hour version of the “Weekend Update” segment will air for the first of a planned four stand-alone episodes.

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chris.barton@latimes.com

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