In a statement released on Monday, SNL created and executive producer Lorne Michaels spoke of the change, in which the show will be removing two commercial breaks:
"As the decades have gone by, commercial time has grown. This will give time back to the show and make it easier to watch the show live."
There's the live audience that they want to attract and grow, for sure — but they also may be cutting out commercials to appeal to a much younger audience that is used to seeing a LOT of content online without having to put up with commercial breaks every ten or fifteen minutes!
And that's where the second part of this whole fewer-commercials thing comes into play — because if it sounds too good to be true, it might be!
In addition to removing two commercial breaks from every episode, SNL is going to ADD what they are calling "original branded content" — in other words, sections where companies can partner with NBC and create a sketch that involves that advertiser's product or service.
These could be funny, sure… or they could back fire big time.
Linda Yaccarino, NBC's chairman of advertising sales and client partnerships, noted that those branded content sections would only occur in six SNL episodes every year, rather than happening weekly, so that's good.
Yaccarino continued, in a statement:
"[Fewer commercial breaks] will be weekly and on-going. This is a show that knows who its audience is and can capture and nurture it."
Guess we'll see about that…
Above all, running fewer commercial breaks is something EVERYONE wants — but the branded content will be a BIG challenge for the show!