Nic Wright

BBC to develop Saturday Night Live style show

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The BBC is to develop a new topical programme styled on late night American variety shows.

The show, to be aired at 10pm on BBC Two, will be modeled after US comedy big-hitters such as Saturday Night Live, James Corden’s The Late, Late Show and Jimmy Fallon’s Tonight Show.

Executives are aiming to produce an alternative to their stand-up and panel shows by capturing topical edge and excitement of live comedy.

Channel controller Kim Shillinglaw and acting entertainment chief Alan Tyler have liaised with independent production companies in an effort to obtain a “disruptive, opinionated format that offered “the visceral thrill of the unfiltered which you often feel when you see comedy live”.

The BBC also hope to find a format which produces potentially viral content; something which the likes of Fallon and Corden regularly achieve.

The plans mark broadcasters’ latest attempt to recreate the long-running SNL for British audiences, following Channel 4’s Saturday Live in the mid-Eighties, and other short-lived shows such as The 11 O’Clock Show and 10 O’Clock Live.

Saturday Night Live began in 1975, and has launched the careers of some of the most popular acts in comedy history.

The show is likely to be piloted later this year, with the BBC considering removing repeat broadcasts of the show throughout the week to “encourage live viewing on the day” and to generate “an unmissable quality”.

  • John

    If it’s influenced by the existing London based comedy agents we’ll probably just see the same faces from panel shows, I hope that’s not the case.