'SNL' Tidbits for December 1, 1998

By Sean Bradley


'SNL' Tenor

The Philadelphia Inquirer has confirmed that Luciano Pavarotti will definitely perform on "Saturday Night Live" December 12 -- he will be the show's first-ever classical musical guest. The superstar tenor will do a duet of "O Come, All Ye Faithful" with Vanessa Williams. (She happens to sing on his new album, Pavarotti and Friends 5.)

Alec Baldwin hosts the Christmas show, "SNL's" last original broadcast of '98. It's the eighth "SNL" hosting stint for Baldwin; five short of Steve Martin's all-time record 13.

I'll take this opportunity to remind everyone that first broke the news of Baldwin and Pavarotti on November 21, two days before USA Today reported it, and four days before the Philadelphia Inquirer. Not too shabby :-) Moving on....

'Ladies' Man: The Movie'

Variety's Army Archerd reports that the next "Saturday Night Live" star to be bigscreened by Lorne Michaels is Tim Meadows. Meadows' recurring "SNL" character, "The Ladies' Man," will be feature-filmed at Paramount.

More of 'SNL's' Best

Variety reports that NBC has decided to make more frequent use of its "Best of 'Saturday Night Live'" compilation specials, which have proven to be handy utility players in primetime.

Theron to Host

Charlize Theron has been confirmed as a "Saturday Night Live" host in either February or March. Theron, who is the star of the upcoming "Mighty Joe Young," will be hosting "SNL" to promote her drama "The Astronaut's Wife," with Johnny Depp, which is due out in late February or mid March. Also, rumor has it that musical groups Garbage and Dru Hill may be doing "SNL" sometime during the first or second quarter of 1999.

Commercials, Martin Do Well

"Saturday Night Live Goes Commercial, Volume Two," a primetime special which aired on NBC Saturday night, drew a 8.2/15 Nielsen rating in the overnight metered markets. The special tied "Walker, Texas Ranger" as the most watched program on television from 10-11:00 PM and helped NBC declare a victory as the most watched network of the evening.

In late night, "Saturday Night Live's" "The Best of Steve Martin" earned an impressive 6.5/17, a higher rating than seven of the last eight "SNL" compilation shows. On FOX, "MAD TV" came in with a 4.4/9 and, in syndication, "The Howard Stern Radio Show" was a 2.3/7 (tying its lowest rating in the history of the show).

Piscopo's Sinatra Production

Joe Piscopo will enlarge his "SNL" Frank Sinatra satire into a full-length nitery production which he'll debut New Year's Eve at the new Black Orchid in Chicago. The club's Marc Curtis will be booking both comedians and singers in the 500-seat club.

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