17 Mar 2017 03:46 PM EST
-by Laura Tucker, Staff Writer; Image: Melissa McCarthy as Sean Spicer on SNL (Image Source: Screenshot)
With all the success they've been having this season, Saturday Night Live seems like they're going for broke.
After previously announcing that they were bringing Weekend Update to primetime for four weeks this summer, now they have announced that the last four episodes this season will be live coast to coast.
The live sketch show is experiencing its highest-rated season in two decades thanks to all the lampooning they did of the presidential election and now the current administration.
Traditionally, SNL airs live on the east coast and the midwest in the Eastern and Central time zones. Mountain and Pacific time zones get the show on a tape delay after primetime. But for these four final episodes, the entire country will watch live.
And for even more good news, Melissa McCarthy, who has torn it up on SNL with her impression of White House press secretary Sean Spicer, will be hosting the show on May 13. She'll join the elite five-timers club with others who have hosted at least five times, including Alec Baldwin, Steve Martin, and Justin Timberlake.
"We thought it would be a great idea to broadcast to the west and mountain time zones live at the same time it's being seen in the east and central time zones," said NBC Entertainment Chairman Robert Greenblatt in a statement. "That way everyone is in on the joke at the same time."
The live coast-to-coast shows will begin on April 15 when former cast member Jimmy Fallon comes back to host. Chris Pine will host May 6, McCarthy on May 13, and Dwayne Johnson on May 20. The primetime Weekend Update episodes will begin on August 10.
"SNL is having its best season in a quarter of a century – how many shows can say that?! – so we didn't want them to take the summer off," explained Greenblatt.
Saturday Night Live isn't the only late-night show seeing their ratings improve with this current political climate. Seth Meyers and Stephen Colbert have both been enjoying great ratings while Jimmy Fallon has been dropping in the ratings after catching heat for not being tough on Donald Trump when he guested on the The Tonight Show during the election.
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