Get ready for a lot more Trump jokes – NBC has just announced that Saturday Night Live‘s 42nd season will have about 30% fewer commercials. They’re apparently going to do this by getting rid of two of the commercial breaks per episode, which presumably means that there will be at least one and maybe two extra sketches in each episode. While we can imagine that this would be appealing, particularly in an election season, we have to admit that we are a bit nervous about the proposition.
Even the most entertaining presidential election can’t be the basis for all the sketches, and the mediocre content of a lot of the current season’s episodes doesn’t exactly have us full of optimism that adding two more sketch requirements per episode will fix the creative issues that seem to exist. What we mean is, we’d be surprised if adding more sketches elevated the quality of the content. Instead, we’re more likely to just wind up with two more sketches making it to air that should’ve been cut during dress rehearsal and that drag down the show. But, we suppose we shouldn’t be so negative. Maybe this shakeup will encourage them to experiment with more long form sketches or digital formats.
But that’s not all the advertising news for the day – NBC also announced that they are offering a “limited opportunity” to partner with SNL to create “original branded content”. When we parse through all the PR-speak, we think that what this means is that SNL will be making actual commercials, not just commercial parodies. Although there will apparently only be 6 of these over the season, we are again skeptical. Why would they cut commercials only to replace these commercials with “sponsored content”? We suppose we’ll just have to wait and see how this all shakes out.
In the meantime, we think TV critic Alan Sepinwall summed it up perfectly: