Time: Sunday, February 15 at 8-11:30 pm (that’s right, Sunday, not Saturday)
Genre: Sketch Comedy
Duration: 30 minute red carpet + 210 minutes of program including commercials
Theme: Celebrities and past cast members alike return to the SNL stage for a 40th Anniversary special.
Lead-in: SNL Red Carpet Live
Broadcast Competition: The Simpsons, Brooklyn 9-9, The Bachelor: Chris Tells All, Undercover Boss, Family Guy, Bob’s Burgers, two hours of The Bachelor, two hours of the CSI season (series?) finale
Pros: It’s the 40th anniversary special of a legendary comedy sketch show started in 1975. The show is still very popular today, airing at 11:30 on a Saturday night and yet still typically out- rating all of NBC’s prime time shows not named The Voice. Many A-listers expected, a combination of past successful cast members (of which there are many!), musical guests, and celebrities. This is truly a once-in-a-lifetime SNL special that avid and casual fans alike should enjoy. None of the aforementioned shows should provide major competition.
Cons: It is airing out of its regular time slot, which may indeed hurt it even though it probably won’t because of all the promotion.
The SNL 40 special received a 7.8 rating in the Adult 18-49 demographic, so my prediction (and yours) were slightly off. Hopefully for NBC this special gives Saturday Night Live a boost in the ratings, even though the show is currently their highest-rated taking into account only regular time slot airings. However, I do not expect this hypothetical bump to last long. In fact, the majority of the current cast was missing—only four members on my count received cameos for more than a few seconds, plus another two who served as introducers to a video montage. Therefore, the ratings of the special may or may not go hand-in-hand with reception to the current cast. Furthermore, NBC has opted not to show an original this upcoming Saturday, something that confuses me, and returns the week after with actress-but-not-comedienne Dakota Johnson of 50 Shades of Grey fame.
Some of you may be wondering why I think Saturday Night Live will receive a bump when the similarly-rated episode of The Blacklist did not. Well, to start, The Blacklist aired after the Super Bowl, losing a lot of its rating—which, don’t get me wrong, is to be expected. However, Saturday Night Live essentially had to self-start the night, and did so by gaining almost five full ratings points from its Red Carpet lead-in. In other words, this special was a highly-anticipated event.