Each episode will air live at: 11:30 p.m. Eastern, 10:30 p.m. Central, 9:30 p.m. Mountain, and 8:30 p.m. Pacific. For the Mountain and Pacific time zones, “SNL” will be repeated at 11:30 p.m. “SNL” experimented with simultaneous airings last season, when the final four episodes were broadcast in the same fashion. The move came as the show was experiencing a major ratings renaissance thanks to regular appearances by Alec Baldwin as President Donald Trump and Melissa McCarthy as now ex-White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer.
The long-running sketch comedy series picked up nine Emmys this year out of their 22 nominations, including wins for Baldwin, McCarthy, cast member Kate McKinnon, and Dave Chappelle, who hosted the post-election episode in November. The series also picked up the Emmy for Outstanding Variety Sketch Series and Outstanding Directing for a Variety Series.
Speaking backstage at the Emmys, Baldwin said that he believes his portrayal of Trump caught on because so many people are frustrated with the administration and he provides some measure of relief.
“I think people are overwhelmed,” he said. “A critical mass of people don’t accept where we are. Every day the thoughts and words and deeds are reinforced by this person, and I am a conduit for them. They’re suffering, they love their country as anyone around the world, they’re confused and they’re in pain. And they walk up to me and slap me on the back all day long and say, ‘Thank you, thank you, thank you.'”
The season averaged approximately 11 million viewers per episode, making it the most-watched season since 1993-1994. It also averaged a 3.5 rating in adults 18-49, its best performance in that measure since the 2009–2010 season.
The “Saturday Night Live” Season 43 premiere is set for Sept. 30 with host Ryan Gosling and musical guest Jay-Z.