The lights are coming back up this October at Studio 8H. On Thursday, Sep. 10, NBC announced Saturday Night Live Season 46's premiere date and confirmed the show will be live from New York once again after the coronavirus pandemic forced the final three episodes of Season 45 to be filmed at home. The new season is set to premiere Oct. 3 at 11:30 p.m. EST — just in time to cover the 2020 Election.
NBC has yet to announce who will host the first episode back, or who will serve as the evening's musical guest, nor have they clarified how the production will approach COVID-19 safety. Bustle has reached out to NBC about what COVID-19 precautions will be put in place to protect the cast and crew, but did not receive an immediate response.
It's been almost seven months since the last live episode of SNL aired on Mar. 7. The final live installment was hosted by James Bond actor Daniel Craig before the premiere of No Time to Die was moved from April to November in the wake of the coronavirus. Production on the Mar. 28 episode was then scrapped, as reported by TVLine, with the show wrapping up the season with three pre-filmed at-home episodes featuring Tom Hanks, Brad Pitt, and Kristen Wiig.
Like nearly every other film and TV production, SNL was forced to go on an indefinite hiatus, but it seems NBC has found a way to safely film the show once more. However, much about Season 46 remains unknown, including which cast members will be returning for Season 46. (One cast member who will definitely be back is Ego Nwodim, who has reportedly been upped to a series regular, per Deadline.)
With its October start date in place, SNL is set to become one of the last late night shows to return to the studio. Talk shows like the Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, Late Night With Seth Meyers, and Late Late Show With James Corden have already resumed production. All the shows are filmed without live audiences and with celebrity interviews being done via video call. It's easy enough to pull off a talk show without a live audience, but with its sprawling cast and revolving door of hosts and musical guests, SNL is an entirely different beast.
Even if they eliminate the studio audience, the long-running sketch series will still have plenty of safety hurdles to jump over as it returns to production. For now though, fans can at least be thankful that in this year of uncertainty, SNL will definitely return in time to skewer the current political climate before the presidential election in November. Now the only question is who will play Joe Biden?