×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

NBC blitzes Bowl with ‘SNL’

Show to interrupt 'Fear' at halftime

NBC is tackling the Super Bowl again, pitting a 20-minute edition of “Saturday Night Live” against ABC’s Shania Twain halftime spectacular.

Net saw modest success last year with a two-part, Playboy-themed edition of “Fear Factor” that aired during halftime and after the big game. This year, Peacock brass have decided to focus solely on halftime.

At around 7 p.m. EST, NBC will begin airing a repeat 90-minute edition of “Fear Factor.” When the Super Bowl hits halftime, NBC will interrupt “Fear” with a live broadcast of “SNL’s” Jimmy Fallon/Tina Fey-anchored “Weekend Update” that will likely include several popular characters and bits from the sketch laffer.

The rest of “Fear” will air once “Update” ends.

Peacock brass are still hammering out a deal with “SNL” exec producer Lorne Michaels and key talent to do the special, but a pact is expected. “We just hate the idea of rolling over on any night,” NBC Entertainment prexy Jeff Zucker said. “It’s not in our DNA.”

Last year’s Super Bowl “Fear Factor” attracted a healthy 11 million viewers for NBC but didn’t put much of a dent in the halftime ratings for Fox’s pigskin broadcast.

Still, “The demos that night were tremendous,” Zucker said. “And this year, ‘SNL’ is having a great year and this will be a great platform for the show.”

NBC isn’t the first net to attack on Super Bowl Sunday.

Fox pioneered such cheeky stunts in 1992, with a special live edition of sketch comedy “In Living Color” that aired during halftime of CBS’ coverage of the game. The “ILC” special stole away a huge chunk of the Eye’s half-time viewers.

Since then, several cable networks have tried to lure viewers away with various gimmicks, such as a “Beavis and Butt-head” spec on MTV or USA Network’s 1999 WWF halftime grudge match.

This year, Fox is skedded to air a repeat of the blockbuster theatrical “Independence Day,” while CBS will repeat “The Deep End of the Ocean.” Both nets are part of the Super Bowl rotation and likely have no interest in annoying the NFL with a Super Bowl stunt.

More TV

  • NBCU Reality Streaming Service Hayu Launches

    NBCU’s Reality Streaming Service Hayu Launches in Three New Territories (EXCLUSIVE)

    It’s easier to keep up with the Kardashians in the Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg after NBCUniversal launched its reality-TV streaming service, hayu, in those countries Tuesday. The service went live with about 6,000 episodes of unscripted fare from NBCUniversal’s lineup, including “Keeping Up With the Kardashians,” “Made in Chelsea” and “The Real Housewives” and [...]

  • Arrow -- "Elseworlds, Part 2" --

    'Elseworlds, Part 2' Recap: Batwoman's 'Arrowverse' Story Begins

    SPOILER ALERT: Do not read if you have not yet watched “Elseworlds, Part 2” the second part of the 2018 “Arrowverse” crossover, which aired Dec. 10. “Arrow’s” leg of the “Elseworlds” crossover had a little more to think about than “The Flash’s,” mainly because it served as the first introduction to Ruby Rose’s Batwoman. For [...]

  • Michael Uslan's U2K Becomes Asia-Hollywood Formats

    Michael Uslan's U2K Becomes Asia-Hollywood Formats Pipeline (EXCLUSIVE)

    Michael and David Uslan, the father and son producing team with credits that include “The Dark Knight” and “Sabrina: Secrets of a Teenage Witch” have struck a cluster of deals that makes them a two-way conduit for TV formats between Hollywood and Asia. U2K, a company that includes the Uslans and Jon Karas (“Believe in [...]

  • Court TV Brand to Resurface as

    Court TV Brand to Resurface as New Channel From Scripps Co.

    Court TV is back in session. The cable TV channel that once carried gavel-to-gavel live coverage of high-profile trials will be revived by a new owner, nearly a dozen years after it was shuttered by Turner Broadcasting. Katz Networks, a division of E.W. Scripps Co., plans to revive Court TV as a new channel designed [...]

  • Gina Rodriguez Carmen Sandiego

    TV News Roundup: Netflix's Carmen Sandiego Series With Gina Rodriguez Sets Premiere Date

    In today’s TV news roundup, Netflix announced a premiere date for its upcoming Carmen Sandiego series and Stars released the premiere date for its original comedy series “Now Apocalypse.” DATES Lifetime will debut a new Gretchen Carlson documentary Jan. 14 at 10 p.m. ET/PT, Variety has learned exclusively. The two-hour special titled “Gretchen Carlson: Breaking [...]

  • Craig Hunegs WB

    Craig Hunegs to Exit Warner Bros. TV Group and Digital Networks (EXCLUSIVE)

    After nearly 25 years in the Warner Bros. family, Craig Hunegs is exiting his post as head of business for Warner Bros. TV Group and president of the studio’s digital networks wing. Hunegs said he has been discussing his exit with Warner Bros. chairman-CEO Kevin Tsujihara for the past several months. At a time of [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content