NEW YORK – NBC's "Saturday Night Live," the only late-night show completely shelved by the writers' strike, is planning a Feb. 23 return if the writers ratify a contract agreement and head back to work.
No guests or host have been announced for the return.
How long has "Saturday Night Live" been gone? So long that it opened its second-to-last show before the strike with a skit about a Halloween party at presumed president-in-waiting Hillary Clinton's house. The real Barack Obama made a cameo.
"It's been a long dry spell without `Saturday Night Live' on the air," said Rick Ludwin, head of late-night entertainment at NBC, on Tuesday. "They've been sitting on the sidelines watching all this happening in politics and the primaries. `SNL' thrives during an election year and they can't wait to get back on."
While the "Tonight" show and Conan O'Brien's "Late Night" returned in January without writers and did shows with skeleton crews, "SNL" is so dependent on its writers that it couldn't return without them.