EXCLUSIVE: Saturday Night Live is heading to the UK.
Deadline understands that a British version of the long-running NBC comedy variety series is in the works at Sky. The project is in the early stages of development.
This would mark the most high-profile international adaptation of the Lorne Michaels-created series, which has been remade in a number of territories around the world including in China, Germany, Italy and South Korea.
SNL reps are understood to be in London at the moment discussing the deal with Sky, which is owned by Comcast, the media conglomerate that also owns NBC. SNL is produced by Broadway Video and SNL Studios with Michaels as creator and exec producer.
The move is the talk of British entertainment and talent circles with comedians lining up to be involved.
Casting, both in front of and behind the camera will be key to the project’s success as SNL derives its success and laughs from the talent that put together the weekly variety show, rather than a particularly strict format.
If it is taken to series, it is unlikely to air as late in the UK as it does in the States – the NBC series starts at 11:30pm on a Saturday night.
It also comes after Sky began airing full versions of NBC’s Saturday Night Live last year on its nascent Sky Comedy channel. Previously, SNL was only really available to watch in clips on YouTube, having previously aired briefly on ITV4 in 2006.
Sky has global form with SNL; the company’s Italian operation inked a deal with NBCUniversal International Formats to bring a local version of the show to TV8 in 2018.
A British series Saturday Live – influenced by the comedy institution – aired on Channel 4 between 1985 and 1988 and helped to make stars of the likes of Harry Enfield, Stephen Fry, Hugh Laurie and Ben Elton and later moved to ITV.
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