‘SNL’ to Air Tonight With Limited Cast, No Studio Audience Amid Omicron Surge

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“Saturday Night Live” has announced via its Twitter page that it will not have a studio audience for tonight’s episode, and that the show will air with a limited cast and crew.

The show cited concerns over a new surge in COVID-19 infections fueled by the Omicron variant as New York City recorded an all-time high of just over 21,000 cases reported in a single day earlier this week. Multiple Broadway productions, including “Moulin Rouge” and “MJ, the Musical,” have cancelled performances in response to the new outbreak, as well as the Radio City Rockettes’ holiday performance.

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Meanwhile, the New York Post reported that some members of the “SNL” cast have recently tested positive for COVID and that the show was considering cancelling tonight’s episode, citing multiple insiders. Among the cast members that the insiders say will not appear tonight is lead writer Colin Jost, who hosts the mainstay segment “Weekend Update” with Michael Che.

“SNL” filmed three episodes remotely during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 and began its 46th season last year with a limited studio audience. The show has had a full audience since season 47 began in October.

Paul Rudd is set to host tonight’s “SNL” episode with Charli XCX as the musical guest.

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