Will 'SNL' End With Season 50?

Saturday Night Live

As American TV has transformed dramatically over the past 50 years, Saturday Night Live has been a cultural constant, evolving with the times without fundamentally changing all that much. The topical sketch comedy show is about to celebrate half a century on the air this year, and plans for the celebrations have been underway since last summer. Here’s what to expect from this landmark season of SNL.

What is the release date for SNL Season 50?

Season 50 of Saturday Night Live will premiere in the fall of 2024 on NBC. A specific premiere date hasn’t been announced, but based on recent seasons, the new season is likely to begin in early or mid-October.

What season is SNL 2024?

This year’s season of SNL will be its 50th. During a recent interview, veteran SNL star Kenan Thompson reflected on the upcoming anniversary and offered some speculative hints on what viewers could expect.

“We've done the 40th, and I was there for that,” he told Bleeding Cool. “The current cast didn't do much. It was more about reflecting, remembering, and honoring. I feel like the 50th would be a lot of gathered moments or people, introducing moments that show how you were involved in the show at some point, probably 30, 45, or whatever years ago.”

Related: Live From New York, It's Kenan Thompson's Net Worth in 2024!

Will Season 50 be the last season of SNL?

Though there have been unconfirmed reports that the show will be ending after its 50th season, no official announcement has been made. Thompson called this "the elephant in the room" during his interview with Bleeding Cool, explaining: "A lot of the stress isn't on the current cast, but the real question will be, "What is the future of the show?" I would love to see it just continue forever, whether I'm there or not, but I don't know. Nobody does, so that's the elephant in the room."

Will Lorne Michaels leave SNL after Season 50?

Veteran producer Lorne Michaels has been with SNL ever since creating the show back in 1975. Rumors have swirled around Michaels’s potential retirement for some time—he will celebrate his 80th birthday in November of 2024—and Michaels himself strongly hinted at this during an interview with Gayle King in December of 2021.

In that interview, Michaels made a commitment to staying with the show through its 50th anniversary. "I'd like to see that through," he told King on CBS Morning (via EW). "I have a feeling that would be a really good time to leave."

Seth Meyers, whose name has been floated as a potential successor to Michaels, was quick to downplay the rumors when he was asked about them in a recent interview. "I think this is a false narrative that Lorne is going anywhere,” Meyers told Mike Birbiglia on his podcast, Working It Out (via EW)."I think it made sense for Lorne—who's, yeah, got a flair for the dramatic—to say, 'I think I’'l be done at 50.’ It's not like Lorne's got something else he wants to do more than this."

Related: Lorne Michaels' Net Worth in 2024

Who will succeed Lorne Michaels?

The current frontrunner to succeed Michaels is reportedly Tina Fey, who was a cast member and head writer for SNL between 1997 and 2006.

“It could easily be Tina Fey,” Michaels told ET. “But you know, there are a lot of people who are there now who are also, you know [could be good],” he said. “Tina’s brilliant and great at everything. She’s a very important person in my life.”

Meyers, who worked on SNL for over a decade between 2001 and 2014, is also rumored to be in the running.

Who are the returning cast members for SNL Season 50?

The full returning cast list for SNL Season 50 hasn’t yet been announced.

The repertory players for Season 49 were, in alphabetical order by surname:

Michael Che

Mikey Day

Andrew Dismukes

Chloe Fineman

Heidi Gardner

James Austin Johnson

Punkie Johnson

Colin Jost

Ego Nwodim

Sarah Sherman

Kenan Thompson

Bowen Yang

It’s likely that not all of the same cast members will return for Season 50, although the show has already gone through a major cast overhaul in recent years. Eight cast members departed the show ahead of its 48th season two years ago, including Kate McKinnon, Pete Davidson and Aidy Bryant.

Are there any new cast members for SNL Season 50?

No new cast members have been announced as yet for Season 50. Last season, there was just one new cast member, Chloe Troast, whose addition was announced in October of 2023, just a few days ahead of the premiere date. So it’s likely that cast news won’t be confirmed until closer to the fall.

Will there be an SNL anniversary celebration?

Just as we’d hope and expect, SNL will be going all out to mark its half-century anniversary. During last year’s Cannes Lions Festival, Michaels confirmed that the anniversary celebrations will kick off in the summer of 2024, as part of NBC’s coverage of the Paris Olympics.

In a separate interview with The Hollywood ReporterMichaels promised that the 50th anniversary show itself will feature appearances from cast members from throughout the show’s history. “The 50th will be a big event. We’ll bring everyone back from all 50 years and hosts and all of that. It will be a very emotional and very strong thing,” he explained.

How will SNL celebrate 50 years?

SNL’s 50th anniversary celebrations will include a special event at Radio City Music Hall, which Michaels has described as “a kind of homecoming night,” featuring musical acts and performances by standup comedians.

"It will be emotional, but everyone will show up because it’s important," Michaels said at the Cannes Lion Festival, per Deadline.. "The planning for it, which has taken the last six months and it’s not happening for another year and a half—there are a lot of events happening."

"Throughout the show, musical things that the cast have done over 50 years will be live,” he continued. “You’ll see bands that have left a mark on the show, and stand-ups that were part of it from the beginning or relatively recent,” he continued, adding, “There are some documentaries being made. We’re going to be part of the French Olympics, so that will be the official start of our celebration.”

How to watch Saturday Night Live

Season 50 of SNL will air on NBC, with new episodes available to stream via Peacock. Details for how to watch the 50th anniversary special at Radio City Music Hall haven’t yet been released, but per Michaels, it’s likely that the event will be live-streamed. Check back here for more details closer to the time.

Next, How Much Money Do 'SNL' Cast Members Make?