Has Saturday Night Live Been Saved From Impending Disaster?
Saturday Night Live's post-production editor team has come to an agreement with the NBC brass.
After recent reports of a potential editor strike at Saturday Night Live, Variety is reporting that the editors have reached a tentative agreement, narrowly avoiding the planned work stoppage. The post-production editor team, consisting of roughly 12 to 20 individuals, has reached an agreement with the higher-ups at NBC for a 60% pay increase over the course of the next three years, with immediate bonuses of an unspecified amount being put into place. The agreement would also provide healthcare benefits to the workers, which was a major sticking point in the ongoing negotiations thus far.
Saturday Night Live has long held its position as a flagship program at NBC, as the live on-air variety show has run for 48 consecutive seasons since its creation in 1975. Series creator and executive producer Lorne Michaels began the show nearly 50 years ago with an incredible cast of talent including Dan Aykroyd, John Belushi, and Chevy Chase, as well as a writers staff consisting of comedy legends such as Michael O’Donoghue, Tom Davis, and Al Franken. The series has been known to launch the careers of many young comic actors, as well as spinning off many of its flagship characters and sketches into feature-length films.
Among the classic films whose origins can be traced back to the iconic sketch comedy program are Wayne’s World, MacGruber, The Blues Brothers, Coneheads, and A Night at the Roxbury. Lorne Michaels has also been known to act as an executive producer for many of Saturday Night Live‘s talent when they branch off into other projects of their own, including series such as That Damn Michael Che, Michael Patrick O’Brien’s A.P. Bio, and Kenan, as well as films such as Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, Masterminds, and the upcoming Mean Girls Musical.
Saturday Night Live has launched the careers of many of the modern kings of comedy throughout the last several decades, including huge names such as Adam Sandler, Will Ferrell, and Jason Sudeikis, as well as household names in stand-up comedy and late-night such as John Mulaney, Seth Meyers, Jimmy Fallon, and Pete Davidson. Saturday Night Live has gone down in the pantheon of television as a generational show, with millions of viewers across the country connecting and identifying with the cast members which define their generation.
The threatened editor strike would be the first of its kind since 2007’s writers strike prevented Saturday Night Live from airing new episodes, forcing the on-screen talent to perform for a select few out of an improv theater. The strike had a massive impact on American television, essentially shutting down nearly every production in the country, leading to shortened season lengths such as Breaking Bad‘s premiere season which ran for only 7 episodes. Conan O’Brien famously managed to avoid a work stoppage by agreeing to pay his writers out of his own pocket, displaying both his exceptional humanity, as well as his commitment to his staff.
Obviously, the Saturday Night Live editor strike wasn’t shaping up to have quite such a humungous impact, but the work stoppage loomed over the rehearsals of the upcoming season quite a bit, leaving many fans to wonder if the show would be on the air April 1st. With the tentative deal in place, it looks like we can rest assured that the magical words “Live from New York, it’s Saturday night!” will be gracing our screens, right on schedule.