As it gears up for its premiere later this month, "Saturday Night Live" will continue an experiment from the end of last season: The upcoming 43rd season of the sketch comedy series will air every single episode live from coast-to-coast.
Traditionally, "SNL" would air live in the Eastern and Central time zones, then air on tape delay in the Mountain and Pacific regions. But as buzz built throughout season 42 around the show's renewed political relevance -- particularly those sketches involving Melissa McCarthy's Emmy-winning portrayal of former White House press secretary Sean Spicer -- NBC made the call to take "SNL" live across the country.
It seems that that experiment paid off: Variety reports that season 42 of "SNL" notched its highest ratings since the 1993-1994 season. The show also racked up nine wins at Sunday's Emmys, including trophies for McCarthy, Alec Baldwin, Kate McKinnon, Dave Chappelle, and Best Variety Sketch Series.
According to Variety, "SNL" will air live every week this season at 11:30 p.m. Eastern, 10:30 p.m. Central, 9:30 p.m. Mountain, and 8:30 p.m. Pacific. It will also re-air at 11:30 p.m. in the Mountain and Pacific time zones.
Season 43 of "Saturday Night Live" kicks off on September 30. Ryan Gosling will host, with Jay-Z slated to perform as musical guest.