SNL has struggled in recent years to be the rating and comedy juggernaut it once was, but it seems like the show may be taking a giant step in the right direction by handing the creative reins over to Tina Fey.
According to the New York Post, sources say that Fey is in talks to take over as executive producer of the long-running sketch show when creator Lorne Michaels decides to retire. Michaels, now aged 78, has made no formal announcement about his intentions to retire.
Tina Fey is allegedly eyed to be Lorne Michaels’ successor when the executive producer and series creator is ready to step down.
Michaels has been on as the executive producer of Saturday Night Live since he created the show back in 1975 and he said in an interview with The New York Times last year that he has no plans to retire. If SNL does bring Tina Fey on to take over the show, it might be a few years before we see a complete transition. It’s also possible that Fey could come on before Michaels retires to make the transition more seamless and perhaps get some advice from Michaels as a mentor.
Tina Fey’s time on the show is widely considered one of the best eras of Saturday Night Live.
Lorne Michaels has previously mentioned that he would, at the very least, like to see the show through to its 50th anniversary, which is going to happen in the Fall of 2024. By then, Michaels will be 80 years old and may be ready to hand the reins of SNL to Tina Fey after the 50th season wraps up.
Ending the season with a sendoff for Michaels would also be a great way to cap off his career, bring in massive ratings for the finale, and give Fey the chance to start off the next season with some hype.
It’s also possible that Fey could come on before Michaels retires to make the transition more seamless and perhaps get some advice from Michaels as a mentor.
SNL first cast Tina Fey in 1997, and she stayed on as a cast member and head writer for the sketch show until she took her leave in 2006. Along with writing numerous hilarious sketches, Fey was best known for her co-anchor spot on Saturday Night Live‘s Weekend Update segment and her portrayal of then Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin.
Fey would go on to have a hugely successful post-Saturday Night Live career, creating and starring in the Emmy-winning 30 Rock series and creating the Netflix hit Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.
If SNL has a plan of succession in place for Michaels, Tina Fey is definitely the obvious choice. Her time on the show is widely considered one of the best eras of Saturday Night Live, along with the early years. Since the era of Fey, Andy Samberg, Maya Rudolph, Bill Hader, Amy Poehler, and other stars of that era, the show has failed to consistently capture the same magic, or audience, it once did.
With SNL sort of flailing at this point, Tina Fey could be the perfect injection of fresh ideas to get the show back on its feet. Announcing Fey as the successor would be enough to get people interested in her first season as the boss. As mentioned, there’s nothing official at this point, but we’ll keep you updated as this story continues to develop.