×

Jason Sudeikis Exit Creates Casting Crisis at ‘Saturday Night Live’

Hader, Armisen, Meyers, and now this? Lorne Michaels better work miracles quickly

Now there’s four out the door.

Jason Sudeikis confirmed Wednesday at a “Late Show with David Letterman” taping that he will not be returning for the 2013-14 season. He joins Fred Armisen and Bill Hader, who signaled their departures when the 38th season concluded. To make matters worse, “Weekend Update” anchor Seth Meyers steps out midseason to get his own late-night show on NBC.

Yes, “SNL” has weathered its fair share of cast defections over its long run but this is a huge talent drain for the franchise to suffer all at once.

Because “SNL” has such a broad ensemble, you might figure the series could sustain their losses. But all four of these men were featured attractions on this show. Any one of them leaving at any time is problematic; all together, it’s big trouble.

SEE ALSO: Jason Sudeikis Confirms ‘SNL’ Exit (Video)

It might have come as some surprise that Sudeikis would leave considering the considerable leverage he would have in negotiations with “SNL” impresario Lorne Michaels, who would presumably be desperate to pay up to retain some semblance of stability.

This wasn’t the first time Sudeikis had Michaels by the short hairs; he was on the verge of leaving last season as well but stuck around despite the fact he’s had a bustling movie career going for quite some time now. His next film, “We’re the Millers,” comes out next month.

The quadruple exit leaves “SNL” in the unenviable position of having to recruit multiple new gentlemen. Even if all the new entries turn out to be the next Will Ferrells, it’s a lot of new blood to take in at once. Few new cast members ever have an instant impact on “SNL”; it can take years for rookies to really grow into their own skin.

That said, this is not assured destruction by any means. There is a second-tier of male cast members on this show that are no slouches. Taran Killam has seemed like a star in the making for quite some time now; this coming season could be the year he really comes into his own. Bobby Moynihan and Jay Pharoah are solid players, too.

But none of them are stars. Michaels may want to consider a move he’s made only a few times over the run of “SNL” and rather than recruit untested freshmen, draft someone with experience, as he’s done in the past with Michael McKean and Chris Elliott. Granted, those aren’t exactly exemplary casting decisions but in theory there’s still some potential in the concept if done correctly.

It’s your move, Lorne. Better make it count.

More TV

  • Al Burton

    Al Burton, 'Jeffersons' and 'Diff’rent Strokes' Producer, Dies at 91

    Television producer and executive Al Burton, known for his work on “The Jeffersons” and “Diff’rent Strokes,” died Tuesday at his home in San Mateo, California. He was 91. Burton leaves behind a six-decade legacy of hit television shows that also included “One Day at a Time,” “Silver Spoons,” “Square Pegs” and “Facts of Life.” However, long [...]

  • Dwyane Wade Sets Multi-Year Development Deal

    Dwyane Wade Sets Multi-Year Development Deal at WarnerMedia

    Dwayne Wade is bouncing his way into WarnerMedia’s court. The retired NBA All Star has signed a multi-faceted, multi-year deal with the company, including a development deal via his 59th & Prairie Entertainment production banner. Part of the deal sees Wade sign on as a commentator at Turner Sports. He is set to make appearances [...]

  • Katie Couric Sheryl Sandberg

    Katie Couric Steamrolls Sheryl Sandberg in Roving Vanity Fair Summit Interview

    Sending a jolt through a luxurious and excessively polite afternoon in Beverly Hills, veteran journalist Katie Couric delivered a relentless series of hardball questions to Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg on Tuesday. Speaking in conversation at the sixth annual Vanity Fair New Establishment summit at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, Couric’s [...]

  • EVIL is a psychological mystery that

    CBS Renews 'Evil,' Orders Full Seasons of Four Other Freshman Shows

    CBS is doubling down on all its new shows. The network has renewed “Evil” for a second season, and handed out full-season orders to its other four freshman series, namely “All Rise,” “Carol’s Second Act,” “The Unicorn,” and “Bob Hearts Abishola.” “Evil” is set to conclude its 13-episode first season (creators Michelle and Robert King [...]

  • Jamie Lee Curtis

    Jamie Lee Curtis to Produce Military Drama With Put Pilot Order at Fox

    Jamie Lee Curtis is teaming up with April Fitzsimmons and Berlanti Productions for a drama project that has received a put pilot order at Fox. Titled “Chain of Command,” the one-hour project follows a young Air Force investigator with radical crime-solving methodology who returns to her hometown to join a military task force that doesn’t [...]

  • Michael MannLACMA: Art and Film Gala,

    TV News Roundup: Michael Mann to Direct and Executive Produce HBO Max's 'Tokyo Vice'

    In today’s TV news roundup, HBO Max names MIchael Mann as a director and executive producer of “Tokyo Vice” and Chip and Joanna Gaines announce the first original series coming to the couple’s Magnolia Network. DATES Netflix announced a six-episode docuseries centered on Nasty Cherry, the latest all-female group signed to Charli XCX’s label will [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content