“Saturday Night Live” is losing one of its stars.
After five seasons on the long-running comedy show, Leslie Jones will not return for season 45 of “SNL”. Jones, 51, reportedly opted not to return and will be ending her contract early. While cast members are offered a standard seven-season deal, the actors’ options are picked up each season and can also request to be let out of their contracts early. Jones is thus far the only cast member to not to return for the new season.
Jones, who initially joined “SNL” as a writer in 2014, is said to be choosing to focus on film roles and her upcoming Netflix comedy special.
While the Global show is losing Jones, it is retaining her “Ghostbusters” co-star Kate McKinnon.
It was reportedly coming down to the wire for the Emmy-winning comedian to return to “SNL”, but McKinnon has now closed a new deal for season 45. Other returning cast members include Aidy Bryant, Colin Jost, Michael Che, Pete Davidson, Cecily Strong, Kenan Thompson and Melissa Villasenor.
The season 45 premiere of “SNL”, with host Woody Harrelson and musical guest Billie Eilish, will air on Global on Sept. 28.