Maya Rudolph is coming back to NBC. Deadline reports that the network has ordered a pilot for an untitled variety show starring Rudolph and produced by Lorne Michaels, who worked with her on SNL and Up All Night. NBC will air the pilot in February as a primetime special following the Winter Olympics. Presumably, the network will order the pilot to series if the special does well. With Rudolph and Michaels working on this, the show should have no trouble landing well-known guests from both the music and comedy worlds.
After Up All Night was canceled last February, Maya Rudolph turned down five sitcom pilot offers and [...]
Here's a recently-unearthed video of a short interview Lorne Michaels and the entire Saturday Night Live cast did with Tom Snyder on his NBC talk show Tomorrow just prior to the show's premiere in 1975. It's worth sitting through the monologue about 30 Rock's air conditioning that Snyder interrupts the interview for just to see the whole gang all together and looking so young and unaware of all the amazing success they were all about to have.
(via Laughing Squid)
Season 39 of SNL kicks off this Saturday night with Tina Fey, Arcade Fire, and a mouthful of new names for Don Pardo to read off in the opening credits. After several seasons of little turnover, the cast is experiencing a major upheaval, with six — six! — new cast members to replace the departed Bill Hader, Jason Sudeikis, and Fred Armisen. This is the largest staff hire in 18 years, tying the 1995-1996 season's addition of Jim Breuer, Will Ferrell, Darrell Hammond, David Koechner, Cheri Oteri, and Nancy Walls. After the show's dismal 1994-1995 season, which saw near cancellation and the firing/resignation of 12 cast members, those six were [...]
David Itzkoff of The New York Times has an excellent new piece out today called "The God of SNL Will See You Now," in which 22 past and present SNL cast members, including Will Ferrell, Chevy Chase, and Kristen Wiig all tell their nerve-wracking audition stories. From waiting for hours in Lorne Michaels's office (Fallon: "I was sitting there with Lorne’s assistant for three hours, and I’m like, 'Whenever he’s ready, I’m here.' And she’s like, 'You know, Chris Farley waited for eight hours.'") to auditioning in 30 Rock to zero laughs (Ferrell: "There’s a point where I’m rolling around on the ground, in complete silence, playing with cat [...]
Lorne Michaels is looking to expand his TV empire even further. Deadline reports that HBO has ordered a pilot for a half-hour comedy executive produced by Michaels that will be written by and star Late Night with Jimmy Fallon writer/performers Diallo Riddle and Bashir Salahuddin. The untitled pilot will star Riddle and Salahuddin as two 30-year-old reporters trying to make it in Atlanta. Fallon viewers may know Salahuddin for playing the character Milky Jay on the show. The duo also created the popular segment "Slow Jam the News." This is Lorne Michaels's second HBO pilot in development right now, joining People in New Jersey, from Girls writer Bruce Eric [...]