Kenan Thompson has been with NBC's "Saturday Night Live," since 2003, but it looks like his days as an "SNL" cast member might be over in 2019, since Deadline is reporting that he's signed a deal to star as a widower father in the NBC sitcom titled "Saving Larry." "Saturday Night Live" creator/executive producer Lorne Michaels is executive producing the series with Thompson, Broadway Video's Andrew Singer and NBC's "Superstore" executive producer Jackie Clarke. Universal Pictures Television is the studio behind the sitcom. Thompson recently won his first Emmy Award, for co-writing the "Saturday Night Live" skit song "Come Back Barack" with Eli Brueggemann, Will Stephen and fellow "SNL" cast member Chris Redd.
Meanwhile, "SNL" alumni and "Bridesmaids" co-stars Kristen Wiig and Maya Rudolph are co-starring in the voice cast of the animated series "Bless the Harts," which Fox will premiere in the 2019-2020 TV season. Fox has already ordered 13 episodes of "Bless the Harts," whose production studio is 20th Century Fox Television. Also in the voice cast for "Bless the Harts" are Jillian Bell ("Workaholics," "22 Jump Street")and Ike Barinholtz (“Blockers," "The Oath"). The show is about a group of financially struggling Southerners who aspire to be wealthy. According to a description from Fox: "What [the show's characters] don't realize is that they're already rich, in friends, family and laughter." Emmy Award winner Emily Spivey (“The Last Man on Earth,” “Parks and Recreation,” “Saturday Night Live”) is the show's creator/executive producer. The other executive producers are Wiig, Seth Cohen and "The LEGO Movie" co-directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller. Lord and Miller also worked with Spivey as executive producers on Fox's "The Last Man on Earth," which starred "SNL" alum Will Forte, and was on the air from 2015 to 2018.
Several other former "SNL" cast members have gone on to star in their own TV series with varying degrees of success, most notably, Jimmy Fallon (NBC's "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon"), Seth Meyers (NBC's "Late Night With Seth Meyers), Julia Louis-Dreyfus (HBO's "Veep," CBS's "The New Adventures of Old Christine"), Andy Samberg (NBC's "Brooklyn Nine-Nine," which originally aired on Fox), Tina Fey (NBC's "30 Rock") and Amy Poehler (NBC's "Parks and Recreation"). Other "SNL" alumni starring in their own shows that debuted this year include Tracy Morgan (TBS's "The Last O.G."), Bill Hader (HBO's "Barry") and Norm Macdonald (Netflix's "Norm Macdonald Has a Show"). Bobby Moynihan's CBS sitcom "Me, Myself & I" was canceled this year after just one season. However, Tim Meadows is taking another shot at a comedy series by playing a high-school principal in the ABC sitcom "Schooled," which premieres sometime in 2019, as a spinoff to ABC's "The Goldbergs."
In other "SNL" news, the show has added Ego Nwodim as a featured player. A graduate of the University of Southern California, Nwodim is an alum of the Upright Citizens Brigade comedy troupe in Los Angeles, where she did her one-woman show "Great Black Women … and Then There’s Me." She will make her "SNL" debut on the show's 44tth season premiere on Sept. 29, in an episode hosted by Adam Driver with musical guest Kanye West.