NBC’s “Saturday Night Live” is making a key change to its broadcast plans for the show’s upcoming 43rd season. The network began airing the show live coast-to-coast on an experimental basis back in April, and after getting good ratings results from the move, it will apparently become permanent.
At least, “permanent” by TV standards. Specifically, today’s announcement from NBC states: “NBC’s Emmy Award-winning ‘Saturday Night Live’ will once again air live simultaneously around the country beginning with the highly anticipated season 43 premiere on Sept. 30 with host Ryan Gosling and musical guest Jay-Z.”
This means the show will air at the following times, by time zone:
11:30 p.m. Eastern
10:30 p.m. Central
9:30 p.m. Mountain
8:30 p.m. Pacific
In the Mountain and Pacific time zones, “SNL” will be repeated at 11:30 p.m.
The network notes in the announcement: “The live coast-to-coast airings that began in April grew 11% in ‘live plus same day’ viewership versus what ‘SNL’ was averaging earlier in the season (8.3 million vs. 7.5 million, according to Nielsen Media Research), indicating strong interest in the formerly tape-delayed markets to see the show live.”