NBC greenlighted the series in February though it had been in the works since a primetime special The Maya Rudolph Show aired back in May 2014. A couple months later, at TCA, NBC execs said they were in “an active creative discussion” for more, either as a weekly series or a series of specials, and the special was described as an “imperfect first episode” by NBC’s president of alternative Paul Telegdy.
Last month, NBC said the Maya & Marty series would premiere at 10 PM Tuesday, May 31, following the two-hour season debut of America’s Got Talent. Saturday Night Live’s Kenan Thompson has joined the series, which will air live each week, and which the network said would feature sketches spoofing current events, celebrities and topical trends, as well as music performances.
The 30 Rock studio in which Maya & Marty will be housed is “literally down the hall from Jimmy Fallon’s show,” Short said this afternoon at NBCUniversal’s Summer Press Day. “It’s called Tonight Show but it’s The Jimmy Fallon Show. It’s completely a variety show. People question, ‘Is variety going to come back?’ It is back. Hopefully the gimmick of this one is: strong entertainers.”
No pilot was shot for Maya & Marty, “except for the [SNL] 40th anniversary show” on which Short and Rudolph were paired by EP Lorne Michaels, who also is EP on M&M. That anniversary show “was endlessly surprising because it had such a large number of people” guesting on it, Short said. “Between Lorne and myself, we’ve met a lot of people who seem interested in appearing” on the new show, he said.
And, “a lot of nudity,” Rudolph chimed in. “Like, wall to wall. Non stop. Full frontal.”
Maya & Marty will be executive produced by Michaels. Matt Roberts, Erin David, Dave Becky and Marc Gurvitz will produce along with Rudolph and Short.