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[SNL] New show returns - Tina Fey hosting

Discussion in 'BBS Hangout' started by Faos, Feb 22, 2008.

  1. Faos

    Faos Contributing Member

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    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/21/arts/television/21snl.html?hp

    ‘SNL’ Is Ready to Make Up for Lost Time

    By BILL CARTER
    Published: February 21, 2008

    Lorne Michaels has been running NBC’s “Saturday Night Live” for so long that when he is asked about the impact the writers’ strike had on his show, he can legitimately ask: Which one?

    The strike of 1988 shut down “SNL” and severely hurt the show, leading to a 40 percent drop in ratings when it returned, as Mr. Michaels ruefully remembers. He is wary about what is going to happen this weekend when this venerable sketch show returns after more than three months. So for Saturday’s return he has enlisted Tina Fey, an “SNL” alum, and the country singer Carrie Underwood.

    He has also done something he never thought he would do again: commit to producing new shows for four straight weeks.

    “We haven’t done that since 1976,” Mr. Michaels said in a telephone interview, “when I came to the conclusion that it is a very bad idea.”

    But these are desperate times for television shows. Mr. Michaels says he recognizes that “SNL” needs to re-establish a pattern of viewer expectations because the show is vulnerable in ways it never has been before.

    “Our competition is not so much other television shows as it is Guitar Hero,” he said, referring to the popular video game. The strike wiped out nine scheduled “SNL” shows, and it came at the worst possible time.

    “Election years are very good for us,” Mr. Michaels said. The last original show, on Nov. 5, bore that out. The “NBC Nightly News” anchor, Brian Williams, had proved to be a nimble — and popular — host, and Barack Obama was a surprise guest. It was the highest-rated ‘SNL’ show of the year.

    “And then we were abruptly shut down,” Mr. Michaels said, adding, “It was one of the most frustrating periods of my life.”

    The Iowa caucuses were in the news. And there was so much delicious political material to come. “We missed Mike Huckabee,” Mr. Michaels said. “We never got our shot at Mitt Romney.”

    Seth Meyers, the show’s head writer, said, “While we were off, the media called the race over about eight different times.”

    Unlike the other staples of late-night television, from Leno to Letterman to Stewart, “SNL” could not easily buck the strike by going back into production, though Mr. Michaels said he considered it.

    “The other shows could limp back on the air,” he said. “I thought this cast is talented enough that they could have tried to go on with something written by them.” But he said such an act could have sabotaged the collaboration between writers and performers that is the backbone of the show. Mr. Meyers, for example, was often outside the General Electric building in Manhattan, where the show is performed, walking around carrying a sign and shivering. He said the show’s writers kept on their toes by making wisecracks.

    “We formed a wisecrack circle,” he said. He added that the writers at least “stayed in shape” with all that walking and “not having money for food.”

    With the strike finally over, Mr. Michaels said he would like to make up for lost time — and wages — by squeezing in as many new shows as feasible before the end of May. “I hope we can do two more in April and two in May,” Mr. Michaels said. That would bring the total “SNL” output for the year to 12 shows, at best, well down from the 20 that had been scheduled.

    To make that number, Mr. Michaels had to break his three-decade-old rule about the dreaded four in a row. That’s no problem because the staff seems so happy to be back at work. “But we’ll be comedy-writing the joy right out of everybody,” Mr. Meyers said. “By Friday we’ll all hate each other.”

    With an eye toward making the return show come off as smooth as possible — and because he knew the phone number by heart — Mr. Michaels asked Ms. Fey to step in as host this week. Ms. Fey first gained fame on “SNL” as a writer and performer before moving on to the show she created and now stars in, “30 Rock.”

    Mr. Michaels acknowledged that Ms. Fey has enough on her plate in trying to get her own show ready to go. “It couldn’t come at a worse time for her,” he said. “But she didn’t know why I was calling.” So she answered the phone and sealed her fate.

    Mr. Michaels said that even with her familiarity with the show, he picked Ms. Fey as host because “it was just the right time for her.” He noted that she had won a Golden Globe, a Screen Actors Guild award and a Producers Guild award in recent months, “all in stealth fashion.” Next week’s host is Ellen Page, star of the Oscar-nominated film “Juno.” After that things get murky until May when Shia LeBoeuf and Steve Carell are committed, largely because both have films (“Indiana Jones” for Mr. LeBoeuf and “Get Smart” for Mr. Carell) opening this spring.

    Other committed guests went by the boards over the 100-day strike, including actors like Edie Falco and Ben Affleck. The singer Amy Winehouse had also been scheduled to appear. “I don’t think anyone can put that back together,” Mr. Michaels said.

    Despite the worries about whether fans can be coaxed back, Mr. Michaels and Mr. Meyers said they were delighted to be back to the “SNL” grind.

    “We’re going to have to do Obama this week,” Mr. Michaels said. “We need to find our Obama.”
     
  2. tomato

    tomato Member

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    Amy Poehler will be gone, and there will be at least one new featured cast member (Bobby Moynihan and/or possibly Donald Glover)
     
  3. Yaozer

    Yaozer Member

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    An unfunny person hosting an unfunny show.

    this should be great! looking forward to missing it!
     
  4. Oski2005

    Oski2005 Contributing Member

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    30 Rock is one of the funniest shows on tv, but I wasn't always a fan of Tina Fey on SNL.
     
  5. Yaozer

    Yaozer Member

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    Tina Fey is just as funny as that crappy Fallon guy. Not funny at all.

    I hope it's gonna fail miserably like when Dane Cook hosted.
     
  6. Faos

    Faos Contributing Member

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    I think she is a great writer.

    I bet they have some cameos by some other stars.
     
  7. Angkor Wat

    Angkor Wat Member

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    Am I the only one that thinks Tina Fey is hot?
     
  8. Yaozer

    Yaozer Member

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    No, I'd totally superman dat ho.. but her skits or that news thing that she does on SNL totally ruined it.
     
  9. professorjay

    professorjay Contributing Member

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    Nope. I'm on that. I think she's a great writer too.

    I didn't realize Seth Meyers has been head writer. Hopefully I'll catch tonight's episode.
     
  10. Faos

    Faos Contributing Member

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    Tina Fey now:

    [​IMG]

    The problem is I can't get her yearbook photo out of my head:

    [​IMG]
     
  11. Yaozer

    Yaozer Member

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    Oh SWEET JEEBUS! did you really have to ruin it for us?? That just ruined her a bit. Quick show some more NSFW pics of Tina!
     
  12. Achilleus

    Achilleus Member

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    That would make D.C Pierson's gravy train dreams! :) Just kidding...
     
  13. Faos

    Faos Contributing Member

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    Gone?
    She's on now.
     
  14. Faos

    Faos Contributing Member

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    I like the new hottie cast member!
     
  15. Cannonball

    Cannonball Contributing Member

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    She's got some tig ol' bitties.
     
  16. Faos

    Faos Contributing Member

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    I thought it was your typical SNL. A couple of good moments surrouned by bits that fell flat.
     
  17. Yaozer

    Yaozer Member

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    Pics?
     
  18. percicles

    percicles Contributing Member

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    Is one of them the girl from Clueless??
     
  19. nyquil82

    nyquil82 Contributing Member

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    That "there will be blood" skit was understood by about a total of ten people watching the show.
     
  20. Mulder

    Mulder Contributing Member

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    does that correspond to the number of people that both watch snl and saw there will be blood, the number of people that both watch snl and understand the rule of capture, or the combo of all three? :D
     

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