SNL to get website — what took so long?

by Mathew on October 14, 2008 · 5 comments

According to a report at Broadcasting & Cable, the tall foreheads at Saturday Night Live — including Canadian-born creator Lorne “Dr. Evil” Michaels — are in talks with NBC about setting up a standalone site for the show, one that would feature clips as well as out-takes, video of rehearsals and so on. This seems like such a no-brainer that it’s hard to understand why it hasn’t happened already. There are clips on Hulu (which I would embed here, if it weren’t for the fact that they aren’t available outside of the U.S.), but the show could be doing so much more with its content.

Apparently the audience that Tina Fey’s impersonation of vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin has been drawing has caused more than a few jaws to drop at NBC. According to MediaPost, clips of Fey doing her thing have pulled in twice as many viewers as watched the originals on NBC, which according to a comment from TVbythenumbers at Silicon Alley Insider is almost unheard of. Obviously, those numbers are getting a boost from the election and the heightened awareness of the topic, but there’s also a feedback loop effect that SNL is benefiting from.

What if you could watch rehearsals for some of those SNL skits online — maybe through a special-access “backstage” pass for a small fee — and then see the finished product that same night? The show could even allow viewers to vote on the sketches they like (which could either lead to fewer stinkers or create more of them), or come up with other interactive features. Regardless, the ability to see more of the performers they like and the skits they want to watch would only deepen the relationship that fans have with the show, and would do so much better than Hulu can.

Update:

As it turns out, the guy in charge of the SNL standalone site is none other than man-about-town Rex “Fimoculous” Sorgatz. Does that explain girlfriend (and Huffington Post blogger) Rachel Sklar’s SNL obsession, or are the two unrelated? Inquiring minds want to know.

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