SNL Mulling Return to Studio, Ahead of Presidential Election (Report)

'SNL' - Colin Jost and Melissa Villasenor

Saturday Night Live is plotting some sort of a return to Studio 8H ahead of November’s Trump vs. Biden showdown.

NBC is reportedly in talks with SNL boss Lorne Michaels about ways to resume in-studio production this fall, according to our sister site Variety. While discussions are still ongoing — and any return would depend upon how the country is coping with the coronavirus pandemic at the time production resumes — one potential approach would be to make the show in a “controlled environment,” which would eliminate unnecessary personnel and, most likely, the studio audience. Such a strategy has already been employed by The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon (also produced by Michaels), which on July 13 resumed production from 30 Rockefeller Plaza, albeit in a different studio. (Similar to Fallon, TBS’ Conan shifted production to the historic Largo at the Coronet in West Hollywood on July 6.)

Other late-night series have continued to be produced at home, including ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live, CBS’ Late Show With Stephen Colbert and Late Late Show With James Corden, HBO’s Last Week Tonight With John Oliver and Real Time With Bill Maher, NBC’s Late Night With Seth Meyers, Showtime’s Desus & Mero and TBS’ Full Frontal With Samantha Bee.

SNL‘s last regular episode aired on March 7, featuring host Daniel Craig, musical guest The Weeknd and a special guest appearance by Sen. Elizabeth Warren. Following a four-week hiatus, the show returned with three SNL at Home installments hosted by Tom Hanks, Brad Pitt and Kristen Wiig. The makeshift Season 45 finale landed on May 9.

A premiere date for SNL‘s upcoming Season 46 has not yet been announced.