The good news is: starting next season, Saturday Night Live will feature 30% less commercials. Yay!
The oooh-this-could-be-good-or-could-be-bad-but-will-probably-end-up-being-bad news: that newly freed-up airtime will now be used to incorporate more "original branded content" into the show.
So...wait, what? Here's how theyre breaking it down over at reported by AdAge:
"(SNL will be) removing two commercial breaks per episode, giving viewers more content, said Linda Yaccarino, chairman-advertising sales and client partnerships, NBC Universal.
And for advertisers, NBC will also be offering a limited opportunity to partner with SNL to create original branded content. These native pods will only occur six times a year, Ms. Yaccarino said."
"Original branded content", then, probably means sponsored sketches (either live or filmed) which will still serve as some form of advertisement for whatever company decides to partner with SNL.
On the one hand, I understand that this sounds like a shitty move. Stuff like this almost never, ever works, and it's certainly more intrusive than skipping over a handful of commercials with your DVR. On the other hand, it's not entirely out of the question that SNL's writers might find something interesting to do with these sketches (hoping that they'll do something truly subversive is probably a waste of our time). In other words: could be funny, could be super annoying.
Guess we'll see what they do with it! In the meantime, please join me in revisiting this recent (cut for time) sketch, which never stops being funny.