Normally when a series loses four popular cast members the same year it spells creative trouble unless of course the show is named "Saturday Night Live" and the president of your country at the time is Donald Trump.
NBC's sketch comedy series which is in its 42nd season has scored some of its biggest ratings this past year and even creator Lorne Michaels confessed that the resurgence is at least in part due to Trump.
Michaels said Trump's campaign and the subsequent presidency has provided an embarrassment of riches for the writers of "SNL."
"Who had any idea that it was gonna be this kind of season? Michaels said during Hollywood Reporter's Award Chatter podcast. "And we’d be on it opening and then Trump would do something on Friday and you'd have to change it and then something else would happen late Friday night and you'd have to change it again, and so the nimbleness of it meant that we were good at it but it also meant that you were paying attention, like seven days a week and it's exhausting."
The show also experimented for Season 42 by broadcasting their final four shows live from all time zones across the country. The move propelled season finale to its largest audience in six years and because of the success, Michaels said the show will air at the same time across the nation for its upcoming season.
"I think so. Yeah, I think it is." Michaels said when asked about the same-time airings. "there were two significant reasons" [for these episodes] One was [NBC Entertainment Chief] Bob Greenblatt wanted it, and two was that social media was so [focused] on the show that you couldn't, if you were following Twitter you were hearing about it before you could see it. And so, we'd be divided into two days, there'd be a lot of action on Saturday and then another group [of viewers] on Sunday, and it just seemed like that's what's driving things and to get people to stay tuned for a broadcast, it's better if it's live and they're seeing it at the same time."
"There was an interesting statistic or fact which was that when we were doing those four shows live, we were either the No. 1 or No. 2 show on television, on all of television,' Michaels said, "We had the same number that we had when we were doing [the] Palin-McCain-Obama thing and in '08 we wouldn't be in the top 30 shows. It's just that broadcast is now fragmented more."
Exactly how successful were SNL's nationwide live broadcasts? Of the four episodes hosted by Jimmy Fallon, Chis Pine, Melissa McCarthy and Dwayne Johnson, McCarthy's episode was the shows most-viewed May show in seven years, and the finale was their most watched since 2011.