With the five-month writers’ strike ending last week, a certain corner of television is coming back to life: first with the return of the late night shows on Monday, and now with “Saturday Night Live,” which will kick off its 49th season on Oct. 14, the show announced Wednesday on X, formerly known as Twitter.
Pete Davidson, who left the long-running NBC sketch comedy program in May along with other big-name cast members including Kate McKinnon and Aidy Bryant, will host the season premiere; the Bronx rapper Ice Spice will be the musical guest. On Oct. 21, the Puerto Rican superstar Bad Bunny will serve as both the host and musical guest. On Wednesday, “S.N.L.” also posted a welcome to its newest cast member, Chloe Troast.
Season 48 was supposed to run through May 20 but concluded early because of the strike. The Writers Guild of America, which represents more than 11,000 writers, reached a tentative deal with the major entertainment studios on Sept. 24, and the guild’s board members approved of the deal on Sept. 26, announcing then that the strike would end the following morning. SAG-AFTRA, the union that represents tens of thousands of actors, on strike since July, returned to the negotiating table this week.
While Davidson is also an actor, starring in the recently released film “Dumb Money” and the Peacock dramedy “Bupkis,” the actors’ union does not consider hosting to be a violation of their strike. In a letter to members that was posted online on Wednesday, SAG-AFTRA made clear that union members who appear on “S.N.L.” as either hosts, guests or cast members are not in violation of their strike rules because they are working under the Network Code Agreement, not the contract the union is striking.
“The majority of our members who are regular cast on ‘Saturday Night Live’ had contractual obligations to the show prior to the strike,” the letter also states. “Many are under option agreements that require them to return to the show if the producers exercise their option, which the producers have done.”