As NBC Entertainment Chairman Robert Greenblatt remarked in a statement, the goal is to help fill the gaps between seasons of the late-night sketch comedy show. Politico first reported last month that NBC will be exploring a weekly "Weekend Update" series to "help NBC capitalize on a topsy turvy news cycle".

NBC announced Tuesday that starting August 10, it will air four half-hour episodes of the show's Weekend Update news sketch, hosted by Colin Jost and Michael Che with appearances by the rest of the cast.

It's official: NBC has picked up a primetime version of, which will have a four-week run during the show's summer hiatus beginning Thursday, August 10 at 9 PM. Just as with SNL's "Weekend Update" segment, Jost and Che will anchor the desk with SNL cast members guesting.

Alec Baldwin (l.) and Michael Che on "Saturday Night Live". NBC also confirmed additional SNL stars will show up in the half-hour program. This makes it the show's top-rated season at this point in eight years in 18-49 (since 2008-09) and most-watched season in 24 years (since 1992-93).

Versus year-ago averages, "SNL" is up +21% in adult 18-49 rating (3.57 vs. 2.94) and up 2.2 million persons or +26% in total viewers with 11.022 million.

With both those shows no longer on the air, "SNL" has a real shot at a win.

Saturday Night Live: Weekend Update premieres Thursday, Aug. 10th at 9/8c. "SNL" has been honored twice, in 1990 and 2009, with the prestigious George Foster Peabody Award and cited as "truly a national institution".


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