Late-night comedy sketch show Saturday Night Live will debut on Sept. 30 without five key castmembers.
In addition to the previously announced departures of Tina Fey and Rachel Dratch, who are working on the prime time comedy 30 Rock, eight-year veterans Chris Parnell and Horatio Sanz have been sacked, as well as Finesse Mitchell.
The cast for the upcoming season will be made up of Fred Armisen, Will Forte, Bill Hader, Darrell Hammond, Seth Meyers, Amy Poehler, Maya Rudolph, Andy Samberg, Jason Sudeikis, Kenan Thompson and Kristen Wiig.
The show will begin its 32nd season with just 11 regular players–down nearly one-third from last year’s cast of 16 and one of the smallest ensembles in recent memory.
Rumors swirled in the media about who might be leaving the show after creator Lorne Michaels told reporters that budget cuts had forced him to make tough choices about the upcoming season.
Comedian Dane Cook will host the first show in the new season with The Killers appearing as guests.
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