NBC affiliate KSL Salt Lake City will air Saturday Night Live this fall. The station, owned by Bonneville International, a unit of the Church of Latter-Day Saints (the Mormon church), has refused to air several NBC shows in the past, including Saturday Night Live, but says it is up for SNL this coming season.
It posted on Facebook: "Starting this fall, KSL is pleased to welcome Saturday Night Live to its weekly line-up, on Saturday nights at 10:30. More changes and updates to the fall line-up are coming soon - stay with us and we'll keep you posted!"
While KSL has refused to air several network shows it deemed unsuitable for viewers, including The Playboy Club and The New Normal, the Salt Lake Tribune says its decision to not air SNL since becoming part of the NBC affiliate group in 1995 was so that it could retain its popular Saturday night sports show in its regular slot. These days, SportsBeat Saturday "is a shadow of its former self," said the paper.
KSL has aired SNL's primetime specials before. CW affiliate KUCW typically airs the NBC shows KSL has refused.
NBC said in a statement: "NBC is very pleased that KSL will start airing the 39th season of SNL this fall. We tremendously value our partnership with the station."
Some of KSL's Facebook followers were skeptical. "SNL will say something or show something that will offend the church owned station and they will cancel it," commented Cody Hoagland.
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Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.