Saturday Night Live Head Writer Exits SNL for Freeform Animated Series

Earlier this week, the spotlight was on recent Kennedy Center honoree and Saturday Night Live creator Lorne Michaels as he began hinting during an interview with CBS Mornings host Gayle King that a possible successor might be coming aboard SNL after the coming-sooner-than-you-think Season 50 (we're in Season 47 right now). We're learning that co-head writer Anna Drezen (Girls5Eva) isn't waiting that long, leaving NBC's long-running sketch comedy/music series for Freeform's upcoming new animated comedy Praise Petey, starring Annie Murphy, John Cho, and Christine Baranski. First hired as a staff writer in 2016, Drezen was promoted to supervising writer for Seasons 44 & 45 before being upped to head writer alongside Michael Che, Colin Jost, and Kent Sublette in 2020.

saturday night live
Image: NBC

"Bye SNL," Drezen wrote in the caption to her Instagram post announcing the news. "I am leaving the show to focus on my show at Freeform. Was going to post a joke but I don't do those anymore. I learned a lot. Got to meet a lot of animals and people. There is nowhere like it. Lotta pressure to pick the right pictures to represent 5.5 years and this is what I came up with, how'd I do?" Here's a look at the post:

During a tour behind-the-scenes of SNL's show night for his Kennedy Center honor, Michaels revealed during his interview that he had been thinking of retiring and thought it was a "really good time to leave." But first and foremost, his commitment is to see the show make it to that milestone. "I think I'm committed to doing this show until its 50th anniversary, which is in three years. I'd like to see that through, and I have a feeling that'd be a really good time to leave," Michaels explained. "I won't want the show ever to be bad. I care too deeply about it. It's been my life's work. So I'm going to do everything I can to see it carry on and carry on well," he continued. And while Michaels was loathed to discuss details on something that wouldn't happen for three more years, he did admit when it comes to who would take on the role next that they had "a sense of where we're headed with that."

NBC's Saturday Night Live Season 47 cast includes Aidy Bryant, Michael Che, Pete Davidson, Mikey Day, Chloe Fineman, Heidi Gardner, Colin Jost, Kate McKinnon, Alex Moffat, Kyle Mooney, Ego Nwodim, Chris Redd, Cecily Strong, Kenan Thompson, Melissa Villaseñor, and Bowen Yang; feature players include the returning Andrew Dismukes and Punkie Johnson, as well as new players Aristotle Athari (Future Man, All Rise), James Austin Johnson (Silicon Valley), and Sarah Sherman (The Eric Andre Show).

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About Ray Flook

Serving as Television Editor since 2018, Ray began five years earlier as a contributing writer/photographer before being brought onto the core BC team in 2017.
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