Michael Che, Colin Jost to host SNL Weekend Update specials this summer

Credit: SNL
Credit: SNL /

NBC has scheduled four special primetime episodes of SNL’s Weekend Update featuring co-anchors Colin Jost and Michael Che.

Despite airing outside of primetime, Saturday Night Live has not only been one of NBC’s highest-rated programs this season, but also consistently one of the top shows of the week overall in the 18-49 demo, averaging its best ratings in over 20 years. The network is capitalizing on its success not only by broadcasting live versions of the show on both coasts starting in April for its last four episodes of the season, but also announcing this week that its popular “Weekend Update” segment is getting a four-week run in primetime this summer, following speculation of the move last month.

As Deadline reports, the 30-minute specials will be hosted by anchors Michael Che and Colin Jost, with several other SNL cast members also making appearances. This will mark the first time “Weekend Update” airs in primetime outside of election season, following special versions surrounding the 2008 and 2012 presidential elections, as well as a six-episode run in 2009. Che and Jost got a trial run when they took the segment to the Democratic and Republican National Conventions last year for specials on sister network MSNBC.

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SNL is having its best season in a quarter of a century — how many shows can say that?! — so we didn’t want them to take the summer off,” NBC Entertainment chair Robert Greenblatt said in a statement. “We’re thrilled to have Colin Jost and Michael Che continuing their unique brand of news with fresh Weekend Update shows in prime time this August.”

Saturday Night Live: Weekend Update will premiere on Thursday, Aug. 10th at 9 p.m. ET, the same night on which the other specials aired. Last summer, NBC premiered the variety show Maya & Marty starring SNL alums Maya Rudolph and Martin Short, the show’s current longest tenured cast member, Kenan Thompson, and writer-turned-performer Mikey Day, who joined the cast as a featured player after his stint on the show. The series, which was never officially cancelled, garnered mediocre ratings and reviews, but this latest effort to extend the SNL format into prime time during the show’s summer hiatus will likely be better received given its politically charged subject matter in today’s climate.

Other summer entries on the peacock network will include the return of reality staples American Ninja Warrior and America’s Got Talent, new competition series World of Dance from Jennifer Lopez, sitcoms Marlon and The Carmichael Show, Hollywood Game Night, The Night Shift, The Wall and Little Big Shots, among others.

Here’s the entire lineup (via TVbytheNumbers):

Monday, May 8

10 p.m.
“World of Dance”

Tuesday, May 30

8 p.m.
“America’s Got Talent” (two hours)

10 p.m.
“World of Dance” (time period premiere)

Wednesday, May 31

9 p.m.
“The Carmichael Show”

Monday, June 12

8 p.m.
“American Ninja Warrior” (two hours)

10 p.m.
“Spartan: Ultimate Team Challenge”

Wednesday, June 21

8 p.m.
“Little Big Shots: Forever Young”

Thursday, June 22

8 p.m.
“The Wall”

9 p.m.
“The Night Shift”

Tuesday, July 25

10 p.m.
“Midnight, Texas”

Monday, Aug. 7

10 p.m.
“Hollywood Game Night”

Thursday, Aug. 10

9 p.m.
“Saturday Night Live Weekend Update”

Wednesday, Aug. 16

8 p.m.
“America’s Got Talent” live results show

9 p.m.
“Marlon” (back-to-back episodes)

Next: Melissa McCarthy, Dwayne Johnson and Chris Pine to host final SNL Season 42 live episodes

SNL returns April 8th at 11:30 p.m. on NBC with host Louis CK and musical guest The Chainsmokers.