With three big departures last season and another planned for February, Saturday Night Live creator Lorne Michaels has been busy making sure the show will be ready for its 39th season premiere on September 28th, with host and ex-cast member/head writer Tina Fey. Michaels confirmed names of new cast members with the NY Times, and revealed that Cecily Strong will co-anchor Weekend Update with Seth Meyers.
From the Times:
“Cecily, from the first show, was right there,” Mr. Michaels said. “She exploded.” One of her regular characters was a visitor to the “Update” desk — the Girl You Wished You Hadn’t Started a Conversation With at a Party.
Mr. Michaels said his general plan was to have Ms. Strong share the “Update” desk with Mr. Meyers for the season’s initial shows and then segue into a solo role later, maybe in the first season — but maybe not. If possible, Mr. Michaels would like to see Mr. Meyers stay on “Weekend Update” even after he moves to “Late Night,” starting on Feb. 24.
“Seth is a unique case,” Mr. Michaels said, noting that the new late-night show would not have a Friday edition, letting Mr. Meyers potentially drop in and work that day and Saturday on “Update.”
Beck Bennett, John Milhiser, Noël Wells, Kyle Mooney and Brooks Wheelan will be the new cast members. SNL writer Mike O’Brien is also joining as a cast member while Tim Robinson, a cast member last year, will join the writing staff.
Michaels also commented about viewers being upset about cast departures whenever there's a big turnover, "People attach to the cast they see in high school. In those years they generally can’t drive. They don’t have any money. Staying up late is exciting. Being with friends up late is really exciting. So they’re very connected to the cast they see then."