'SNL' Announces Season 47 Premiere Date With Future of Several Cast Members up in Air

Saturday Night Live will return for its 47th season in October, NBC announced Thursday. The network released a brief teaser for the new season, which will kick off on Saturday, Oct. 2. The announcement did not say who would host the first episode, and it is still not known which cast members creator Lorne Michaels plans to bring back.

Season 46 ended with several question marks about the future of Kate McKinnon, Cecily Strong, Aidy Bryant, Pete Davidson, and Kenan Thompson as all veterans were given stand-out sketches that could have served as their last performances on the show. Back on Aug. 2, Variety reported that Michaels and his producing team started asking actors to commit to returning earlier than usual. He reportedly hopes to keep some of the veterans on the show through at least the 50th season, which will debut in fall 2024. NBC did not comment on the report. SNL cast members usually finalize their contracts by late summer or early fall.

Over the summer, the cast played coy about coming back. In early August, Strong, who spent the summer months promoting her memoir This Will All Be Over Soon, told The New York Times she was "still thinking" about coming back. "Throughout the year, there were times where I felt like a fifth-year senior and I'm just hanging around, dead weight. Then there would be moments that felt so good," she said. "There's things I want to do, and I want to be open for these things. If I'm there, great - if I'm not there, great. I just want it to feel like the right thing."

In July, Thompson told Entertainment Weekly he hoped to reach 20 seasons. The former Nickelodeon star is already the longest-tenured SNL cast member in the show's history and spent last season juggling his SNL work with his Kenan sitcom. "As long as the show keeps going and they want me to be there and I don't feel like I'm in the way of somebody else's opportunity, should I just oblige?" Thomson told EW. "I don't really know what to do at this point, as far as leaving is concerned. Like, why should I ever have to leave?"

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Davidson, who starred in The Suicide Squad and is filming Meet Cute with Kaley Cuoco this summer, has also suggested his SNL future isn't written in stone. "I don't know what the plan is," he told GoldDerby in June. "Everything's kind of up in the air right now just depending on scheduling."