UPDATED: Michaela Watkins & Casey Wilson Leaving ‘Saturday Night Live’; ‘Weekend Update’ Hosts Still Unclear
First Published: September 8, 2009 5:26 PM EDT Credit: NBC
LOS ANGELES, Calif. -- Michaela Watkins and Casey Wilson are parting ways with “Saturday Night Live,” a source confirms to Access Hollywood.
Michaela, best known for her impressions of Arianna Huffington and “Today” show co-host Hoda Kotb, told the New York Times on Friday that she’d like keep her characters alive.
“I’m not sure if ‘SNL’ owns Arianna Huffington from now on,” she told the newspaper. “I don’t know if I’ll get sued. Probably not. It’s like, ‘No, take your Arianna Huffington and get out of here.’”
Still, the star said she understood being let go.
“I’ve been watching that show forever and I know to get stuff on as a featured player, people aren’t used to you yet, your face, your voice,” she said. “They’re still figuring out whether they like you or not.”
In a separate interview with Entertainment Weekly, Michaela said the news came as a “shock,” but she didn’t “have any regrets” about her year on the show.
“It was a fantastic year,” she told the mag, revealing that “SNL” boss Lorne Michaels had given her an explanation for her departure.
“He felt deep down that I should have my own show,” she said. “I honestly don’t know. What he said is he’s trying to get what’s best for him and best for me. He said it had nothing to do with talent. And I’m just going to go on that. That was his only explanation.”
Casey, the first cast member to have been born in the 1980s, spent two seasons on the show and showcased takes on Jennifer Aniston, Rachael Ray and others during her time on screen.
Among the show’s other changes for the coming 35th season, Yahoo! TV reported earlier this week that Kristen Wiig would join Seth Myers as co-anchor on the “Weekend Update” segment news desk. Yahoo! TV has since withdrawn this reporting.
A NBC rep told Access on Sunday that the co-anchor position was still open.
“It still hasn’t been decided who if anyone will be joining Seth,” the rep told Access.
“Weekend Update” will continue as a show segment as well as with a second season of last year’s “SNL Weekend Update Thursday” spin-off.
And as previously reported on AccessHollywood.com, two new castmembers will be filling the shoes of the departing comediennes – Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre alumnae Jenny Slate and Nasim Pedrad.
AccessHollywood.com also previously broke the news that U2 would serve as the Season 35 premiere’s musical guest, with actress Megan Fox hosting the September 26 episode.
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