Capitalizing on some of its highest ratings in years, “Saturday Night Live” will again spin off its long-running “Weekend Update” segment into prime time this summer.
“‘SNL’ is having its best season in a quarter of a century ... so we didn’t want them to take the summer off,” said NBC Entertainment President Robert Greenblatt in a statement. “We’re thrilled to have Colin Jost and Michael Che continuing their unique brand of news with fresh ‘Weekend Update’ shows in prime time this August.”
“Weekend Update” has been a recurring segment on “SNL” for its entire 42-year run and has set the standard for news-tilted satire now seen on Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show” and its NBC sibling “Late Night With Seth Meyers,” who also hosted “Update” during his run on “SNL.” The segment has previously aired in prime time during election years with special broadcasts airing in 2008 and 2012. A six-episode order in 2009 only made it to the air for half its planned run.
“Saturday Night Live” has enjoyed a more than 20% bump in ratings this year on the strength of its political material, which has included Alec Baldwin’s recurring impression of President Trump and Melissa McCarthy’s portrayal of Press Secretary Sean Spicer. The half-hour edition of “Weekend Update” also includes plans for Jost and Che’s fellow “SNL” cast members to appear.
The first prime time episode of “Update” will air on Thursday, Aug. 10, at 9 p.m.
Follow me over here @chrisbarton.