Jim Parsons and Bobby Moynihan

Jim Parsons and Bobby Moynihan

Credit: NBC

Recap: 'Saturday Night Live' – Jim Parsons and Beck

The star of "The Big Bang Theory" is game, but the show's return is shockingly unfunny

It seems like an eternity since the last episode of “Saturday Night Live” aired, but it’s back tonight, with the most beloved member of one of television’s biggest shows as host. Jim Parsons is a semi-unlikely television star, but there are few who don’t know who Sheldon Cooper is at this point, and a large chunk of that goes to Parson’s portrayal of that character. In lesser hands, Sheldon would not be one of the true genuine breakout characters in recent TV history. Tonight, Parsons gets to potentially stretch his wings, in addition to almost undoubtedly delivering “The Big Bang Theory”-related humor as well. Along for the ride is musical act Beck for this, the first show in the post-Seth Meyers Era.

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10 ways to keep 'Saturday Night Live' fresh
Credit: NBC

10 ways to keep 'Saturday Night Live' fresh

Some new ideas for the show in the wake of Seth Meyers' departure

With the departure of Seth Meyers, “Saturday Night Live” experiences another big casting change. But change is built into the show’s very DNA, so this isn’t time to worry. Rather, it’s time to get excited about what’s now possible. The effects of his departure will echo beyond the “Weekend Update” desk and ripple into each aspect of the show. Sure, the show can and probably will try to move on and overtly act as if nothing is different. But that’s a terrifically boring approach to take. Anything and everything is possible. That was true when Meyers was there, and now the show has a perfect excuse to try some new approaches. How can the show best take advantage?

We have a few thoughts:

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10 Oscar Nominees we'd like to see host 'Saturday Night Live'
Credit: AP Photo

10 Oscar Nominees we'd like to see host 'Saturday Night Live'

Will Amy Adams, Pharrell Williams or Sandra Bullock appear anytime soon?

 Oscar excitement is starting to reach fever pitch. But while HitFix’s staff has nearly every aspect of the lead up to the awards themselves covered, it’s time to also think about what will happen after the statues are handed out on March 2. Sure, many of the nominees will move onto other film projects. But there’s also another place we’d like to see them sooner rather than later: in Studio 8H hosting “Saturday Night Live.” All these selections are long shots in one way or another. But these choices aren’t about the likelihood of any one performer actually hosting. This is about looking at the field of 2014 nominees and seeing where the most interesting pairings between host and show exist. 

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'Saturday Night Live' 2014 Power Rankings: Who's number one?
Credit: NBC

'Saturday Night Live' 2014 Power Rankings: Who's number one?

Which cast members are proving to be vital this season?

In the middle of a lengthy hiatus for "Saturday Night Live" after the end of The Seth Meyers Era, it’s time to take stock of the show’s remaining players in HitFix’s annual Cast Power Rankings. (You can see last year’s list here.) The following list has nothing to do with the talent of those on the show. This list merely ascertains their overall worth to the show as exhibited by onscreen time, level of contribution, and the show’s perceived value of their worth to the program as a whole. Those low on the list aren’t unfunny: They simply haven’t had the chance to shine or haven’t found a way to break through just yet. Those atop the list are vital to "SNL" as a whole and are poised to lead the show heading into its fortieth anniversary next year.

You can check out the entire list in the embedded gallery in this post. Agree or disagree? Share your thoughts below.

 
 
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Melissa McCarthy and Imagine Dragons

Melissa McCarthy and Imagine Dragons

Recap: 'Saturday Night Live' – Melissa McCarthy And Imagine Dragons

The Seth Meyers Era ends with one of the show's most dependably great hosts
Normally, I’d kick things off by saying how excited I am by the prospect of Melissa McCarthy hosting for the third time in three seasons of “Saturday Night Live.” She’s been a fantastic host in each of her previous two attempts, and already at the point where having her as host every year (if she wants to do it) seems like a desirable option. But tonight, it’s all about the end of the Seth Meyers Era on “SNL”. It might seem odd to say goodbye to someone who will actually be on NBC more often per week than now once he takes over “Late Night” after the Winter Olympics. But as head writer for almost a decade, Meyers has shaped the content of the show in ways we won’t really know until his departure.
 
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NEAR....FAR...WHEREVER YOU ARE, LEO....

NEAR....FAR...WHEREVER YOU ARE, LEO....

Credit: NBC

Recap: 'Saturday Night Live' – Jonah Hill And Bastille

Is third time the charm for the Oscar-nominated actor
Fresh off his second Oscar nomination, this time for his work in “The Wolf Of Wall Street,” Jonah Hill arrives at “Saturday Night Live” to host for the third time. For someone with such a charismatic comedic personality, his previous two appearances have been strangely muted affairs, with only the recurring Benihana-set sketch making any lasting splash. (Given Benihana’s place in “Wolf,” that either means we won’t see the sketch at all or Leonardo DiCaprio will be the chef in it tonight. Anything’s possible!) But that says more about the writing for those particular episodes than anything Hill himself has brought to the table. There’s been roughly a 50% cast turnover since Hill last hosted in March 2012, so there are plenty of new comedic combinations possible.
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Tom Mison and Nicole Beharie in 'Sleepy Hollow'

Tom Mison and Nicole Beharie in 'Sleepy Hollow'

Credit: FOX

'Sleepy Hollow' season one finale recap: 'Bad Blood'

Ichabod and Abbie go all the way to purgatory to set the stage for an epic reveal and multiple cliffhangers

Yes, "Sleepy Hollow," that's how you do a season finale.

The first season of FOX's bonkers breakout hit came to a delightfully thrilling conclusion in tonight's two hour finale. Literally every character was left in jeopardy and the writers pulled one hell of a twist on us, so let's start there.

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Drake with the cast of "Saturday Night Live"

Drake with the cast of "Saturday Night Live"

Credit: NBC

Recap: 'Saturday Night Live' – Drake

The Sasheer Zamata Era starts as "SNL" returns after a tumultuous break.
“Saturday Night Live” has been off the air for nearly a month, but it’s been nearly omnipresent in the news since Jimmy Fallon hosted the shows. But instead of discussing his hosting performance (and the near omnipresence of Justin Timberlake in the same episode), the topic of the show’s diversity dominated discussion of the show. That topic has surrounded the show throughout its existence, was re-ignited when “SNL” cast six Caucasian cast members before this season, grew more fervent when both Kenan Thompson and Jay Pharoah said less-than-satisfying things about it to the press, and went into overdrive when news of a “secret” audition arose days before John Goodman hosted the show in December. Since then, the show officially hired comedian Sasheer Zamata as a featured player, and added two new members to the writing staff: LaKendra Tookes and Leslie Jones. So, problem solved, right?
 
Wrong.
 
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Tom Mison, Lyndie Greenwood and Nicole Beharie in 'Sleepy Hollow'

The 'Sleepy Hollow' Scooby gang: Ichabod, Jenny and Abbie

Credit: FOX

'Sleepy Hollow' recap: Somebody call an exorcist in 'Vessel'

Demonic possession, Washington's Bible and magic lanterns: Welcome back to Sleepy Hollow

It's a small miracle everyone makes it out of this episode of "Sleepy Hollow" alive. As the series races towards next week's finale, the tension is rising and this seemed like as good a week as any for the show to throw a shocking, emotional death our way.

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'Saturday Night Live' - The 10 best sketches of Fall 2013
Credit: NBC

'Saturday Night Live' - The 10 best sketches of Fall 2013

Lady Gaga, Josh Hutcherson, and Bruce Willis episodes all make the cut

It’s been the usual up-and-down Fall for “Saturday Night Live,” with as many hits as misses and more than a fair share of controversy swirling the production. But through it all, there have been many highlights. Some were silly. Some were slightly somber. All were compelling.

Here are the ten best segments of the Fall:

 

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