Saturday Night Live (abbreviated as SNL ) is a live American late-night television sketch comedy and variety show developed byLorne Michaels and Dick Ebersol. The show premiered on NBC, a terrestrial television network in the United States, on October 11, 1975, under the original title of NBC's Saturday Night.
The show's sketches often parody contemporary American culture and politics. Saturday Night Live features a two-tiered cast consisting of repertory members, also called the "Not Ready For Prime Time Players" (the name used by the show's original cast), and newer cast members who are known as "Featured Players."
Each week, the show features a host who delivers an opening monologue and performs in sketches with the cast. A musical guest also performs. With the exception of season 7, the show has begun with a cold open sketch (usually based aroundpolitically-themed current events) that ends with someone breaking character and proclaiming, "Live from New York, it's Saturday Night!"
For all but five seasons (six through ten), the show has been overseen by its creator and current executive producer, Lorne Michaels. Broadway Video, SNL Studios, and NBC jointly manage production. Saturday Night Live is one of the longest-running network television programs in the United States with over 700 episodes broadcast over the span of 36 seasons as of 2011. A number of the show's sketches have been developed into feature films.
Throughout its three decades on air, Saturday Night Live has received a number of awards, including 21 Primetime Emmy Awards, a Peabody Award, and three Writers Guild of America Awards. In 2000, it was inducted into the National Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame. It was ranked tenth on TV Guide's "50 Greatest TV Shows of All Time" list, and in 2007 it was listed as one of Time magazine's "100 Best TV Shows of All-TIME." In 2009, it received 13 Emmy nominations bringing the show to a total of 126, giving it the most Emmy nominations in television history.