Stars on screen
Summer update: It may be on summer break right now, but with one of its most talked about seasons in years behind it, “Saturday Night Live” isn’t taking the season off.The sketch comedy show’s longest-running bit hits TV screens for a four-week primetime run starting Thursday, Aug. 10, on NBC.
The half-hour “Saturday Night Live: Weekend Update” reunites the hosts from the shorter “SNL” version, with anchors Colin Jost and Michael Che sitting behind the news desk and poking fun at the week’s headlines. Other “SNL” cast members are also due to make appearances, lending their own brands of humor to the “newscast.”
This isn’t the first time that Weekend Update has been spun off into its own series. Its first appearance as a primetime special was in the autumn of 2008 under the name “Saturday Night Live Weekend Update Thursday,” and after a three-episode run it was renewed for a second mini-season the following year. It later returned during 2012’s election for two episodes of electoral joshing.
So why has Weekend Update been spun off into its own series yet again? Probably because the last season of “Saturday Night Live” brought in the highest ratings the show has seen in years, a feat often attributed to the show’s sharp spoofs of the current political situation in Washington. Robert Greenblatt, chairman of NBC Entertainment, backed that up in a statement announcing the summer series: “‘SNL’ is having its best season in a quarter of a century — how many shows can say that?! — so we didn’t want them to take the summer off,” he said in the statement.
Weekend Update has been with “SNL” since its very first episode way back in 1975 — the only still-surviving sketch to have that honor. Its hosts may have changed over the years, but its popularity has always remained strong — strong enough to warrant its own prime-time series. “Saturday Night Live: Weekend Update” premieres Thursday, Aug. 10 on NBC.
A new possession: “The Exorcist” is expanding its cast.The Fox series, which is slated to return for a second season Friday, Sept. 29, has added a versatile actor to its already impressive roster.
John Cho has joined the supernatural drama, bringing his diverse acting range to the critically loved series. Cho has been a movie star for years, starring as Sulu in “Star Trek” (2009) and as Harold in “Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle” (2004) and their respective sequels. He’s no stranger to television either, having starred in the shortlived 2014 ABC sitcom “Selfie,” NBC’s “Go On” and the sci-fi drama “Flash-Forward.”
Cho won’t be the only new face on screen when “The Exorcist” returns. With the first season’s plot more or less wrapped up, most of its characters — and thus, actors — will not be in season 2. Geena Davis (“Thelma & Louise,” 1991), Hannah Kasulka (“The Fosters”), Alan Ruck (“Spin City”) and Brianne Howey (“Scream Queens”) have all moved on.
In addition to Cho, Brianna Hildebrand (“Deadpool,” 2016) has boarded the cast. Alfonso Herrera (“Sense8”), Ben Daniels (“House of Cards”) and Kurt Egyiawan (“Skyfall,” 2012) are the sole returning series regulars.
“The Exorcist” serves as a sequel to the 1973 film of the same name.The first season dealt with a family suffering through a demonic influence in their home, and the responses of three priests (Herrera, Daniels and Egyiawan) trying to deal with it.The new season moves on from that now-resolved story (hence the casting changes), with Cho playing a former child psychologist whose foster child becomes targeted by something very evil.
“The Exorcist” returns to Fox for a second season this fall.
Michael Che and Colin Jost host “Saturday Night Live: Weekend Update”