It’s official: Saturday Night Live is back in just a few weeks, and unlike the tail end of season 45, the upcoming season will be live again. NBC just announced that season 46 of SNL will premiere on October 3, and the show will air live at 11:30 p.m. and be taped at its usual home in Studio 8H at 30 Rock. The announcement confirms a July 20 report from Variety, in which two sources said that Lorne Michaels and his team were planning a return to the studio for season 46 in a “controlled” environment, presumably with no or limited audience.
Today’s announcement from SNL doesn’t indicate whether or not the premiere will feature some kind of live audience or who has signed on to host, but the news that the show will go back to airing live means that things will at least look more like a typical episode of SNL rather than the At Home editions that aired when the pandemic began. No other big changes to the show has been revealed just yet, but SNL confirmed on September 8 that cast member Ego Nwodim received a promotion from featured to repertory player, and given that the election is just around the corner, we can probably count on seeing Maya Rudolph return to the show to play VP candidate Kamala Harris.