It’s always been a hit-or-miss show. This season’s ratings have been way up, mostly thanks to Tina Fey, but she isn’t even a cast member anymore, due to her 30 Rock responsibilities. Kristen Wiig has been a goldmine, but even reliable veteran players like Darrel Hammond and Fred Armisen are struggling from week to week.
The culprit? Their scripts, and the show’s ungainly running time.
Last night’s ep, for example, was terrible. And I’m not the only one who thinks so. There was one funny skit (posted below), hidden within twelve painful ones. Unfortunately, this isn’t unusual. I blame NBC.
NBC’s struggling the most out of the Big Four (ABC, FOX, CBS) in the ratings department. They’ve only got The Office, 30 Rock, and…Heroes to pull in the advertising moolah. Want proof of their desperation? See their decision to move Leno into a 10pm timeslot.
Point being, since SNL‘s ratings have been up, NBC probably wants to stretch it as much as possible. An hour and a half of sketches is just too much to ask of the writers on a weekly basis, especially after losing Fey and Poehler.
Don’t get me wrong, SNL can be hilarious. Even this year. It’s just too hard to write 90 minutes of comedy each week.
Until they shorten the show, I imagine lots of viewers will do what I do: catch the funniest clips online instead of watching the show live.