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‘Saturday Night Live’ Makes Historic Change With Live Broadcast Coast-to-Coast

Discussion in 'TV Show Talk' started by James Long, Mar 17, 2017.

  1. James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

    Apr 17, 2003
    'Saturday Night Live' to air live nationwide

    For the first time in 42 seasons, "Saturday Night Live" will air live from New York across all mainland U.S. time zones, NBC announced Thursday.

    "That way, everyone is in on the joke at the same time," NBC Entertainment chairman Robert Greenblatt said in a statement.

    Fans in Mountain and Pacific time zones have, until now, had to watch the show on tape delay.

    SNL's new simulcast will debut April 15 with the return of former cast member and "The Tonight Show" host Jimmy Fallon.

    It should be interesting to see what they do to handle the difference between what one can do on TV at 11:30 vs what one can do on TV at 8:30.
  2. Cholly

    Cholly Old Guys Rule! DBSTalk Club

    Mar 22, 2004
    I haven't watched SNL regularly singe the days of John Belushi, Dan Akroyd and Jane Curtin. I watched periodically to see Tina Fey, but the show hasn't been on my "must see"list for quite some time.
  3. trainman

    trainman Hall Of Fame

    Jan 9, 2008
    My guess is that the writers/producers won't do anything special to account for the fact that they're being seen at an earlier hour on the left side of the country, although NBC will likely put a disclaimer at the beginning of the broadcast. That's what they do with the "SNL" anthology specials that air in prime time.
  4. James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

    Apr 17, 2003
    "Material originally aired at a later hour" would not apply to the first airing of a live show. And there are some things that SNL will never re-air.

    Federal obscenity laws apply 24/7 so any obsenities aired at 8:30pm would have been illegal at 11:30pm. Indecent and profane content would be the challenge:
    "The FCC has determined, with the approval of the courts, that there is a reasonable risk that children will be in the audience from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., local time. Therefore, the FCC prohibits station licensees from broadcasting indecent material during that period."

    "The safe harbor refers to the time period between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m., local time. During this time period, a station may air indecent and/or profane material. In contrast, there is no safe harbor for the broadcast of obscene material. Obscene material is entitled to no First Amendment protection, and may not be broadcast at any time."

    Note that the rules apply to broadcast licensees. People watching live on the east coast would not be able to complain (unless the content was obscene) since their local time is after 10pm. Saving the edgier stuff until midnight/10 mountain time would put most of the affiliates in safe harbor hours. Individual stations will make the choice of whether or not they want to take the risk. I would not be surprised to see a 10 second delay for the west coast ... just in case.

    It is risky, edgy, and might work.
  5. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

    Feb 22, 2007
    Piscataway, NJ
    Me too. That's a show that was best when it began, I think. I used to record every episode (once I got a VCR) then the cast changed, all the folks I really liked left and I lost interest.

  6. Blowgun

    Blowgun DHMO User

    May 23, 2008
    Western Arc
    I guess they will water it down further considering that they won't have the luxury of editing the 11:30pm west coast feed as they have in the past.
  7. Laxguy

    Laxguy Honi Soit Qui Mal Y Pense.

    Dec 2, 2010
    Such an event! Not. But I appreciate James' explanation of the FCC rules.
  8. dpeters11

    dpeters11 Hall Of Fame

    May 30, 2007
    That was before my time to see it live, but I liked it in the 90s with Dana Carvey and Phil Hartman.
  9. freerein100

    freerein100 Legend

    Dec 13, 2007
    Just a couple weeks ago a host dropped the f bomb during the opening monologue. You would think that they would use a slight delay for all live broadcasts.

    Sent from my SM-T800 using Tapatalk

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