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SATURDAY NIGHT DYING

... After ushering freshman cast member Brooks Wheelan out the door on Monday, Saturday Night Live has dropped two more players and seen a third leave on her own. The contracts of Noel Wells and Jon Milhiser have not been renewed (a.k.a. "Thanks, g'bye now!'), and Nasim Pedrad, who joined the sketch show in 2009, is leaving to appear in the upcoming Fox sitcom Mulaney. First-year cast members Beck Bennett, Kyle Mooney, Mike O'Brien, Sasheer Zamata, and Colin Jost are still employed... FOR NOW! DUN-DUN!!! (Insert .GIF of Lorne Michaels sitting menacingly in front of a fireplace.) [THR]


BUSINESS TIME

... FX's The Strain, which I reviewed and liked although it wasn't scary enough for some of you, drew 3 million viewers (well, technically 2.99 million) for its Sunday-night debut. That's pretty good for its first episode; FX's other recent drama premieres, Tyrant and Fargo, drew 2.1 million viewers and 2.65 million viewers, respectively. [Deadline]

... Over on Showtime, Masters of Sex and Ray Donovan returned for their respective second seasons on Sunday, and Sex didn't sell so well but Ray did okay. At 10pm, Masters of Sex picked up 825,000 pairs of eyes, down from the just-under-a-million who tuned in for the Season 1 premiere, when it had the benefit a Homeland lead-in. One hour earlier, Ray Donovan drew 1.22 million viewers at 9pm, just a hair under the 1.3 million who watched the Season 1 premiere. [The Wrap]

... Bravo has put a premiere date on its first scripted series, Girlfriends' Guide to Divorce: Tuesday, December 2! Lisa Edelstein (House) stars as a self-help author who's going through a messy divorce. So, girlfriend, just keep pretending you love your husband 'til then. [Bravo via press release]

... Spike TV is continuing its push into original programming that isn't just about pounding an energy drink and then punching something really hard. The network is developing a script for The Crusaders, an event series based on the Crusades. It will be set during the Third Crusade and follow two mismatched knights on their way to the Holy Land. [Spike TV via press release]

... ABC Family is getting into the holiday spirit and airing special episodes of six of its shows on celebratory calendar dates. Melissa & Joey and Baby Daddy will serve up Halloween installments during the network's 13 Nights of Halloween programming, and Pretty Little LiarsThe FostersSwitched at BirthChasing LifeMelissa & Joey, and Baby Daddy will celebrate Christmas on television during the network's 25 Days of Christmas event. Me, I only celebrate National High-Five Day... all year. [ABC Family via press release]



CASTING NEWS

... Rob Lowe, Candice Bergen, and Paz Vega will star in Beautiful and Twisted, an upcoming Lifetime movie. The film tells the juicy and true story of the murder of hotel heir Ben Novack Jr. Lowe will play the victim, Vega will play Novack's wife (a former stripper!), and Bergen has signed on to play his mom. [THR

... Kristen Connolly (House of Cards) will replace Brianna Brown in ABC's upcoming spooky-kids drama The Whispers. The show follows children who begin to act out and plot murders and stuff when invisible aliens pretend to be their friends and tell them what to do. [Deadline]

... Person of Interest is adding hottie Cara Buono (Emmy nominated for Mad Men) to Season 4 in a recurring role. She'll play a "femme fatale" who is able to walk through the new world order set in motion at the end of Season 3. [Deadline]

... Bones has cast 24 alum John Boyd in a recurring role for Season 10. Boyd, who played CTU agent Arlo Glass in the Jack Bauer drama, will recur on Bones as James Aubrey, a junior FBI agent who's described as "charming and unapologetically confident," and who Booth sets out to "tame."  [TV Line]


REQUIRED READING

... Ever wonder how live studio audiences can keep up the laughter even though they've seen the same joke performed over and over again? [AV Club]


RECENT STORIES YOU MAY HAVE MISSED ON TV.COM

... It's Price's weekly Teen Wolf photo recap, everybody!!! 

... It's my weekly Under the Dome review and photo recap, everybody!!!

... ABC has announced its fall premiere dates. You KNOW you want to found out when Last Man Standing returns. 

... Friendly British person and ABC boss Paul Lee discussed ABC's upcoming season at the Television Critics Association press tour today, including why his network has shows of all colors. 

... Syfy previewed two of its upcoming dramas, Ascension and 12 Monkeys, at the press tour on Monday, and it really seems like the network is committed to getting back to its sci-fi roots.

... Help me figure out who the creepiest kids on television are, would you please?


Previously Aired Episode

AIRED ON 2/11/2017

Season 42 : Episode 14

Next Episode

AIRS ON 3/4/2017

Season 42 : Episode 15

38 Comments
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I didn't know Nassim left, she was one of my faves :/ . Noel wasn't that bad either, not surprised Millheisner got cut though.

Che must be pretty awesome for them to have hired him, I still am not sure if I like him on the Daily Show, he seems smart, but he has trouble enunciating things, to the point where I wonder if he'd be as good of an actor as he is a writer.
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Colin Jost needs to make his whole routine interesting- quick! Promoting a head writer to anchor made sense when I first heard it (Tina & Seth were exactly the same). But they were never this bland.
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It's surprising to me so many people didn't like this season of SNL. I thought it was pretty good. Lots of talented performers, especially Taran and Kate.
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Out of all the featured cast members, I really only ever liked Beck and Kyle Mooney. And that's really only because of their digital short style sketches at the end of the show. So I think they should stay. But the truth is there was never enough room to begin with for eight featured players.
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Shame about Nasim Pedrad because she was one of my favorites.

I thought Noel was doomed after her alyson hannigan impression.
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Yeah Nasim was great and way too under utilized. Her dorky nerdy characters were awesome.
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I agree. Couldn't believe how little they used her, particularly this season. I'm assuming she thought she was on the way out anyway and wanted to give the featured players more time maybe.

She was so good as Heshy
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Why hasn't Kenan Thompson been let go from SNL yet? What Up With That?!
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Umm, because he's one of the best players they've had? Are you a racist?
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Yes, I'm a racist. (rolls eyes)
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Kenan is great.
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In that warm-up comedian article on the AV Club, I think he really impressed me on how he gets his craft, how he differentiates between fourth-wall content and not, "one is stand-up, and one is theater" - multicamera sitcoms ARE theater, that's exactly it.

Did he just say How I Met Your Mother was a laugh-track show and not a live studio audience? That's interesting.

Oh man, that story about Susan's mom and Jack dying, that was a groaner, that was awesomely rough, that reminded me of a story comedians would tell each other.

Overall, that was a fantastic interview, really impressed with the guy and with the AV Club's editing there, they put together a sharp article.
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Tim, I really don't think Colin Jost has anything to worry about, he's been SNL's head writer for 2 years now, and on staff for 9. As for dumping Noel Wells and Jon Milhiser, not terribly surprising, they weren't essential players, but Kyle Mooney and Sasheer Zamata IMO have shown to be sub-par players so I'm surprised that Mooney didn't get tossed (let's face it, Zamata they did as a token hire so they aren't about to send her packing, they never should have done they "lookin' for black female talent" schtick that was so embarrassing).
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I'm not surprised Masters of Sex ratings are down a bit, there are so many shows crammed into the Sunday at 10pm time slot. If a show is on HBO or Showtime then I know it will repeat several times during the week, so I usually watch it later. This time, I've decided to watch The Strain at its original airing, and then I pick up Masters of Sex, and The Leftovers later in the week... which is really good for me, because there's not much on that I'm interested in right now.
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No Nasim Pedrad? No Saturday Night Live for me anymore...
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The remaining cast looks fantastic now that a few have left. More of Kyle/Beck/Mike would be great. The ladies were already killing it.
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I just read the whole dang article about live studio audiences (took me 30 mins), and I can't help but feel that guy Allan Murray is a pretentious ass.
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How come? I got a totally different feeling from reading it, and I'm curious where we diverge from.
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Well, trying to do this all from memory here, so give me... he always said anything along the lines of "if they wanted bla bla, then they tell me to bla bla...but it hasn't happened yet." I think that was one of the lines he always repeated, and if I was drinking, I would have made a new drinking game. Hmm, what else. I really don't want read the article again, it was so long. I wondered if it was a written interview because the responses were so long, but at one point in brackets it says [they both laugh]. He makes Warm Up seem to be more of a science than art, how everything should be done within his own guidelines, and producers, other than just being natural. He is more of a subtle ass. I say that because it takes one to know one.
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I read that av club article yesterday and it is really interesting. I never knew that much work went into maintaining a live audience.
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No more Kim Kardashian spoofs :(
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If SNL keeps Mike O'Brien over Noel I am going to be mad because she was way better than he was. Also sucks that Nasim is leaving I really liked her.
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He is a writer there so they might keep him
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LOL. Noel better than Mike. LOL.
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I'm rooting for Nasim, and I hope it's not some irrelevant Chris-Kattan-on-The-Middle role.

As for the other two, I don't remember them on a single thing, but I don't blame them for that. SNL sucks overall right now, but recycling scrubs before they get their bearings won't help anything at all.
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Staff
She's one of the series regulars on Mulaney, so it won't be a guest star sort of deal.
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Ah, good. I don't have a good feeling about the show, but it's more reason to root for her.
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This isn't "recycling scrubs". They hired too many people (esp. white men) last season and the show suffered, as the struggle for airtime meant that there were fewer chances to make an impression. They shouldn't hire anyone else this year.
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I still thought they'd have enough room with the turnover to keep the ones they fired, but it would be better if they didn't add anyone else. I'd be surprised if they didn't, though.
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I think this might have been the largest cast they've had in the history of the show (or second-most if not most), it just doesn't work. Maybe they'll make another diversity hire, to stay ahead of the game before the media finds something else to chirp about.
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It did seem like the largest cast they've ever had, but they've at least come close. I remember about 10 years ago when they had a black guy named Finesse and a few others that I just never saw doing anything-ever, but they at least let them stew for a couple years.

Anyway, the newbies last year were nothing but a shit-ton of white people, with the big girl being the only minority (like an Irishman in Downton Abbey). Not to say the black chick they hired later is anything special, but they usually aren't on SNL.

They need some diversity, just for the topical skits alone. If that Linsanity picks up again (doubt it), or if they need to make fun of China or something, they're hosed.
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I don't know why Lorne thinks that Aidy Bryant is funny. She's terrible. If he's keeping her just because she's over weight then that is ridiculous. How about hiring someone that's actually funny. I would've kept Noel over Aidy. At least she can do impressions. Is he still feeling guilty over firing Casey Wilson?
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Aidy Bryant can be funny, but falls back on the same 2 types of characters over and over which is extremely tiresome. I don't have an opinion about Noel Wells really, but I'd take both of them as castmembers over Kenan Thompson.
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I thought Brooks Wheelan and Noel Wells were better than Beck Bennett and Mike O'Brien.. Sasheer Zamatais probably safe for a while because NBC pretty much admitted she was a straight up race hire by holding auditions (or whatever?) for a black woman.
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I think Beck Bennett is very talented and did his characters quite well, so I can't agree with that. I do agree on Michael O'Brien and Sasheer though.
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I wonder if the suits at Spike realize the Crusades isn't good territory for a buddy comedy/drama...it was, to be honest, just a tad violent and then some...
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