After 46 years on the air and countless iconic skits (several of which even turned into full-fledged spinoff films), the United Kingdom is finally taking a closer look at the United State’s number-one comedy-skit show — and it seems they like what they’re seeing. According to an exclusive Deadline report, a British version of the hit NBC series Saturday Night Live is currently in the works over in the UK. While the project is still in extremely early stages of development, it’s rumored that NBC sister-station Sky UK is already working on finalizing the deal with SNL, as well as scouting potential comedic talent.
If the show is greenlit, it would mark the most high-profile remake of Saturday Night Live to date. While the show has already been remade in several other countries and territories around the world — such as Germany, Italy, China, and South Korea — none have quite reached the level of success as the American version of the series, something that, given the right cast, the UK version seems well-equipped to do.
However, far more surprising than Saturday Night Live U.K.‘s big reveal seems to be the fact that it took this long to happen. Turns out, there are a couple good reasons for that. First and foremost, prior to Sky beginning to air full episodes of Saturday Night Live last year, SNL had only been available to watch in short clips via YouTube, making it less accessible (and noteworthy) to the vast majority of British television fans. While the series’ did air for a brief period in 2006 on ITV4, it wasn’t until 2020 that it became a more regular part of British programming.
In addition, the UK did attempt to make their own version of the show, simply titled Saturday Night, back in 1985. While the program did help launch the careers of Harry Enfield, Stephen Fry, Hugh Laurie, and Ben Elton, it never reached the same levels of success and ultimately only lasted three years. Here’s hoping a new iteration of the series proves to be a bit more of a hit than it was back then — and perhaps even comes on a wee bit earlier than it does here in the states.