Lorne Michaels says that Saturday Night Live can expect cast changes before its 40th season begins in September. In an interview with Deadline, the creator and longtime executive producer of NBC’s late-night sketch show said, “We’re still in the middle of rebuilding. So there will be changes this year.”
Last season, which was the first since 2002 without stalwarts Fred Armisen, Bill Hader, Andy Samberg, or Jason Sudeikis (Seth Meyers also left in February), the show struggled with audiences. Many longtime fans complained that some of the new Not Ready For Prime Time Players weren’t ready for SNL, period. “It was a hard season,” Michaels conceded. “We put a lot of pressure [on] a lot of new people.”
The question remain: How big will the changes be? Nasim Pedrad recently announced that she doesn’t expect to be back, but that’s primarily because she’s moved to Los Angeles to co-star in former SNL writer John Mulaney’s new sitcom. But other young members of the cast who didn’t immediately find their stride, like Brooks Wheelan and John Milhiser, can’t be breathing easy as they wait for word if they’ll be invited back for the anniversary season.
Next February, the network will air a three-hour prime-time special that will surely bask in the glow of its most famous alumni. Certainly by then, Michaels would like a current cast that deserves to be in that same room.