Kenan Thompson’s scripted comedy pilot The Kenan Show has been ordered to series at NBC. Thompson is also expected to continue his run as Saturday Night Live’s longest running cast member with his 17th season next year.
The Kenan Show is a single-camera comedy executive produced by SNL boss Lorne Michaels. It stars Thompson as a recently widowed father who dives headlong into parenting his two children while navigating a complex relationship with his father-in-law, who’s played by Andy Garcia.
Jamie Clarke is writing the script for The Kenan Show and executive producing alongside Thompson, Michaels, Andrew Singer and Chris Rock. Rock also directed the show’s pilot episode.
It remains unclear how Thompson will balance production on The Kenan Show with the demands of his role at SNL. One possibility, as THR points out, is that NBC picked up the series for a midseason run, in which case Thompson could shoot the series during his summer hiatus from SNL. His castmate Aidy Bryant did something similar with her Hulu series Shrill. Another possibility is that Thompson plans to step back from his performing role on SNL, instead participating primarily as a writer or producer, as the specifics of his role in the 17th season have not yet been confirmed.
Thompson has a long history in film and TV outside of SNL. He got his start in the early 1990s on the Nickelodeon sketch-comedy series All That before moving to his own sitcom with Kel Mitchell called Kenan & Kel. He’s also known for his roles in Good Burger, Fat Albert and the Mighty Ducks franchise. In addition to The Kenan Show and SNL, Thompson is also set to host NBC’s forthcoming reality competition series Bring the Funny.