SNL to Air Live Nationally, Announces Melissa McCarthy, Jimmy Fallon, Dwayne Johnson, Chris Pine as Hosts

Saturday Night Live will be live for everyone for the remainder of Season 42.

NBC announced on Thursday that for the first time ever, the late-night sketch comedy program will air live in all time zones, beginning on April 15 with host Jimmy Fallon. Each episode will air at 11:30 pm ET, 10:30 pm CT, 9:30 pm MT and 8:30 pm PT. (For the Mountain and Pacific time zones, SNL will be repeated at 11:30 pm.)

In addition, SNL has announced hosts for the rest of its current season, including Chris Pine (on May 6), Sean Spicer impersonator extraordinaire Melissa McCarthy (on May 13) and Ballers‘ Dwayne Johnson (on May 20), who will preside over the Season 42 finale.

SNL — enjoying its most popular season in two decades — 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,” Robert Greenblatt, Chairman of NBC Entertainment, said in a statement. “That way, everyone is in on the joke at the same time. Kudos to Lorne Michaels, the producers and cast for making ‘SNL’ one of the most relevant and anticipated shows in the zeitgeist.”

Saturday Night Live returns on April 8 with host Louis C.K. and musical guest The Chainsmokers. Musical guests for the final four episodes will be announced at a later date.

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  1. Nathan says:

    Damn I thought it already was. Hence the “live” part.

    • madhatter360 says:

      It airs live for the east coast and central region (I think), and the tape of the live performance is shown in mountain and pacific. If something goes wrong during the live show (like someone swearing) they air the dress rehearsal.

  2. Dryheat says:

    Note to Ryan, we see SNL @ 1030p in MST…

  3. Kay says:

    YES! I can’t stay up until the usual time, but having the option to watch at 8:30 will be awesome

  4. Wrstlgirl says:

    SNL at 9:30 p.m. is going to be really weird.

  5. brandy says:

    Sooo freakin excited for Melissa and Jimmy!

  6. DarkDefender says:

    Awesome. It will nice to see the show first hand, instead of seeing all the clips online before the show airs on the west coast.

  7. Maria says:

    Are they ever going to ask Nathan Fillion to host?

    • George Garret says:

      Sure, he just needs to raise his profile or become involved in a high profile project and I’m sure they’d ask him. He’s a guest star on Modern Family, he’s not exactly tv gold right now.

      • iHeart says:

        well he’s going to have a movie coming out in the future, he has been shooting a movie here in Winnipeg with Henry Cavill

        • TV Gord says:

          He hasn’t exactly been having producers knocking down his doors since Castle ended. I’d watch him in anything, but let’s be realistic. I’m waiting for him to show up on Agents of SHIELD as some villain or another. He’s got a few steps to go before he’s back up to the a-list.

    • ninergrl6 says:

      As TV Line has pointed out, SNL rarely gets “TV stars” to host, probably to its detriment. They’d rather use big name actors who are promoting blockbuster-style movies.

  8. Kevin Tran says:

    So excited about the news. Guess I’ll be watching SNL @ 8:30 pm PST.

  9. Joey says:

    It was always really dumb that it wasn’t like this before. I can’t imagine airing it on a tape delay for most of the country is better for ratings than airing it live everywhere. You stand to get more people interested and talking about the show if it’s aired live nationwide. Its a similar problem most award shows had until very recently. They aired on tape delay outside of the east coast, despite most taking place on the west coast. Fewer people are interested if they have to wait three hours to watch something that was supposed to be live. If your award show is on tape delay, all the people you’re hoping will watch it 3 hours later can easily just find a list of winners and be done with it. Same goes for SNL. By the time it airs in PST/PDT, etc, we can easily find all the clips online, read about what was good and what wasn’t, etc. We no longer have a reason to watch it if it isn’t aired live.

  10. Karen MT says:

    Does this mean they have to follow the stricter primetime FCC rules?

  11. R.O.B. says:

    I can’t think of anything more fun than this. Live political sketches, yay.

  12. TV Gord says:

    I’m not usually the gloomy-gus in the group, but–aside from the publicity benefits–is this really such a big deal? Don’t we all have access to all time zones on our cable lineup (time-shifting channels)? I usually live-blog about SNL from the east and I’m usually conversing with several friends from the west.

    Also, since we’re hilariously learning that this site has a lot of Canadian fans, there were still be one time zone left out. Canada’s maritime provinces are in a time zone one hour earlier than New York, so they won’t be included. (Of course, they should have the time-shifting zones, too.)

    ‘m enjoying the irony that SNL is enjoying a resurgence these days. It’s pretty much the only positive thing I can see out of the current administration.

    • Buffy0531 says:

      Regarding time-shifting: for some of us it’s an extra fee on our TV services bill. Therefore, we don’t bother with it. Just out of curiosity, what did you mean by “hilariously learning that this site has a lot of Canadian fans”? Not being snarky, just curious as to what you meant about us?

      • TV Gord says:

        There was a story the other day (I wish I could remember which one) where the majority of the comments were about whether a show would be available in Canada, and one commenter pointed that out. It just made me laugh. (I’m from Ottawa.)

    • Dryheat says:

      I’ve seen some cable stations have a west coast feed on my Cox digital cable here in AZ, but never any broadcast…

    • MMD says:

      2 time zones TV Gord and they’re later. It airs at 12:30 AT and 1:00 NT. There is no sense in having time shifting because all it does is put shows in the middle of the night.

      I’m also watching SNL more (because any viewing is up from never) courtesy of the new administration.

    • ninergrl6 says:

      I’m on the west coast. Through my tv provider (DirecTV) I get cable programming on the east coast feed. However, I get the broadcast networks’ (ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, CW) west coast feed… unless I pay more money to increase my tv package to include New York broadcast networks.

  13. mrmcgee says:

    I’ve been so should living on the east coast my whole life. Stuff like this silk sorta boggles my mind. Like do the Oscars come on at 530 on the West Coast? And Super bowl is in the afternoon? Lol.

    • mrmcgee says:

      I’ve been so *spoiled

    • Dryheat says:

      I live in AZ in MST, and the Oscars start @ 600p. :)

    • Erin says:

      Yes they do, and we love it. When the Oscars go 3.5 hours, we are done by 9 instead of midnight. The kids get to stay up for the Super Bowl and they aren’t tired for school the next morning.

    • ninergrl6 says:

      The Oscars used to be the *only* awards show that aired live in California. That’s one of the reasons why it was such a big deal for my family to watch it together growing up. We’d get to eat dinner on the couch watching tv. Now most awards shows air live here, probably due to social media.
      Sunday NFL games air at 10 am, 1 pm, and 5:30 pm. It’s AWESOME.

  14. BrookeBS says:

    Yes! This is a great idea. SNL at 8:30p will be weird, but cool.

  15. Norm Haddock says:

    i will be sure not to watch SNL. I use to be a faithful watcher but have lost the taste.

  16. Bruce Wayne says:

    Zzzzzz, SNL is a snore fest unless you are an uner-liberal or a socialist, Nobody cares so finally airing it “live” may get some viewers who are actually awake.