Lorne Michaels: Expect more changes at 'Saturday Night Live'

By Daniel S Levine,

Last season was a tough one for Saturday Night Live, coming off the departures of Fred Armisen, Jason Sudeikis, Andy Samberg and Bill Hader. However, that’s only the start of the changes coming to NBC’s venerable sketch show. Creator and executive producer Lorne Michaels said more changes are on the way.

In an interview with Deadline, Michaels admitted that last season was “a hard season” after losing so many strong male stars. The problem was only compounded when Seth Meyers left in February. But the rebuilding process is still ongoing, Michaels said.

“Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah,” he replied when asked if more casting changes were on the way. “We’re still in the middle of rebuilding. So, there will be changes this year.”

While he didn’t address specifics, it is known that Nasim Pedrad is likely not coming back. She’s slated to star in Fox’s Mulaney sitcom, which films in Los Angeles. SNL is based in New York.

Michaels also was open about the show’s reaction to those who complained about the lack of diversity on the show. He said that after the four guys left following the previous season, they headed into last year focused on adding four men. The only woman they brought on was Noel Wells, who impressed both at auditions and when she arrived in the studio, something that many comedians couldn’t do.

Wells, along with the new men that came on, are all white. When that became a story, “...I sort of looked at it and went, ‘Oh, right, this doesn’t feel right,’” Michaels said. “So, we just began to address it, which we did.” They cast Sasheer Zamata halfway through the season.

SNL celebrates its 40th anniversary next year and a special is slated to air in February. Hopefully for Michaels, it won’t make the audience miss the good old days so much that they ignore the new cast.

image courtesy of Jennifer Graylock/INFphoto.com



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