Live from New York… it’s some really long contracts for Saturday Night Live cast members.
According to a new report from Variety the annual Saturday Night Live contract negotiations kicked off a bit earlier than usual this year due to some new twists. The long-running series is about to enter its 47th season, but the report indicates that impresario Lorne Michaels is looking to sign some veteran cast members through the 50th season in 2024.
No one would make an official statement on the negotiations, but apparently, the plan calls for more flexible contracts than have existed in the past. Due to the coronavirus pandemic during the 45th and 46th seasons, Michaels had to make some allowances for some cast members to go work on other projects such as Cecily Strong in Schmigadoon and Aidy Bryant in Shrill. Kenan Thompson and Chris Redd also have flexible agreements to film Kenan.
Keeping cast members has become a bigger priority for the series as their profiles have grown and it’s hard to find as many talented replacements. Giving them more flexibility to work on outside projects may be just what is needed to keep some of the bigger names such as Kate McKinnon, Strong, and Thompson around for a long haul. Thompson in particular now holds the record for the longest run on the show and should he return this year it will mark his 16th season.
With productions around the world still in a state of flux, and Michaels apparently willing to be a bit more flexible than in the past, it seems highly likely that a large number of cast members will find their way back to Studio 8H this fall.