The 46th season of Saturday Night Live will be "live from New York" very soon. On Thursday, NBC announced Season 46 will premiere on Saturday, Oct. 3 from the famous Studio 8H. The host and the musical guest for the season premiere has not been announced.
As mentioned by TV Line, this will be the first time SNL will have an in-studio episode since March 7. After that episode aired, the series shut down production and canceled its March 28 episode due to the COVID-19 pandemic. SNL returned on April 11 for its first of three non-live home episodes, which were hosted by Tom Hanks, Brad Pitt and Kristen Wiig, respectively.
In July, it was reported that SNL was preparing to return to the studio with one major change. Variety reported that will likely be filmed in a "controlled" environment without a live audience. NBC declined to comment on the news at that time, but SNL could follow the template of The Tonight Show, which went back to production in its studio this summer. Lorne Michaels oversees both SNL and The Tonight Show.
The COVID-19 pandemic has taken a toll on the SNL cast. In April, cast member Michael Che revealed his grandmother died from the coronavirus. "I'm doing OK, considering. I'm obviously very hurt and angry that she had to go through all that pain alone," he said. "But I'm also happy she's not in pain anymore. And I also feel guilty for feeling happy. Basically, the whole gamut of complex feelings everybody else has losing someone very close and special. I'm not unique, but it's still scary."
In that same month, SNL alum Hal Wilner died due to COVID-19. He was known for making musical skits for the show since 1980. He also produced albums for big-name artists such as Marianne Faithfull, Laurie Anderson, Lucinda Williams and Lou Reed.
SNL began airing in 1975 and has received a number of awards including 71 Primetime Emmy Awards, four Writers Guild of America Awards and two Peabody Awards. The show was inducted into the National Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame in 2000 and is ranked 10th in TV Guide's 50 Greatest TV Shows of All-Time.