The broadcaster revealed that The Kenan Show, which Thompson also exec produces, will launch in a “post-fall” slot and that he will remain on SNL. NBC Entertainment Co-Chairman George Cheeks told Deadline that it is working out how best to work it so that Thompson can do the sitcom, SNL and unscripted reality competition series Bring The Funny.
This comes after NBC handed The Kenan Show, formerly known as Saving Kenan, a series order on Friday. The single-camera comedy is produced by Universal TV and Lorne Michaels’ Broadway Video.
Cheeks said, “Kenan is one of the best talents on NBC and has been on SNL for many, many years. There are scheduling issues that we’re figuring out because we’re delighted he is going back to SNL next year but more Kenan on the network is a great thing.”
NBC Entertainment Co-Chairman Paul Telegdy called Thompson “one of the funniest comedians of his generation”. “Don’t worry you’re still going to see him on SNL every week,” he added.
Accommodations will be needed to make all three shows work. One option is moving production on the sitcom from Los Angeles to New York where SNL is based. This pilot season, Thompson flew to Los Angeles, filmed five days of The Kenan Show pilot, flew back to tape SNL, and then back again for five more days of filming of the pilot before taking the red-eye to return to New York. Then during the recent short SNL hiatus, he shot Bring the Funny.
Written by Jackie Clarke and directed and executive produced by Chris Rock, The Kenan Show is a family comedy that centers on Kenan (Thompson), who strives to be a super dad to his two adorable girls (Dani Lockett and Dannah Lockett) while simultaneously balancing his job and a father-in-law (Andy Garcia) who “helps” in the most inappropriate ways. Punam Patel also co-stars. Thompson, Clarke and Rock executive produce with Michaels and Andrew Singer for Broadway Video.
Thompson, who has become the heart and soul of SNL during his tenure, has repeatedly said he has no plans to quit SNL even with its ever-expanding portfolio. “It’s the best job in the world,” Thompson said recently on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. “I can’t see myself just walking away from it like that, even with how busy I’ve been with another show on NBC called Bring the Funny.”