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Kent Sublette Added to Head Writer Ranks at ‘Saturday Night Live’

Variety logo Variety 1/23/2017 Brian Steinberg
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NBC’s “Saturday Night Live” added two new head writers before the start of its 42nd season launched in September, putting three people in the position. Now it’s adding a fourth.

Kent Sublette, who has written for the venerable late-night series for at least the past eight years, has been elevated to head writer, a spokeswoman for the show said Monday. Sublette’s name was listed as a head writer in the credits of the show’s most recent broadcast  early Sunday morning. He joins Sarah Schneider and Chris Kelly, who were placed in the role in August, and Bryan Tucker, who has held the title since the fall of 2013. NBC offered no other details as to why Sublette had been elevated.

Sublette is an alumnus of the Groundlings improv troupe, and was the screenwriter for the 2011 movie “Lucky,” starring Colin Hanks and Ari Graynor. Adding him to the head-writer group would appear to give the show the most head writers it has had in its four-decade-plus history.

He joins the ranks as “Saturday Night Live” enjoys some of its best ratings in years. After the broadcast of 12 original episodes, SNL has captured an average of 3.55 million viewers between the ages of 18 and 49, a rise of 27% from the year-earlier benchmark, a 10.8 million viewers overall, a rise of 27%, according to Nielsen. It’s no secret a surge of interest in the recent presidential election and the new Trump administration has fueled interest in the show. Alec Baldwin’s satirical impression of President Trump in the show’s “cold open” has sparked both praise from some viewers and harsh criticism from Trump via Twitter.

More satire and controversy are likely on the way. NBC said Monday that Baldwin would serve as host of the show on its February 11 broadcast.

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