With the advent of the 2000 season, "Saturday Night Live" has been on the air for a quarter of a century, and now advances to the next millenium. Fans finally say goodbye to Tim Meadows, who spent a tenth of a century as a cast member on the show. Cheri Oteri and Colin Quinn also left at the end of the 25th season; though Cheri's departure didn't traumatize production of the show, Colin's resignation left a void behind the "Weekend Update" desk, sending producers into a frantic rush to find a replacement. After a series of auditions, a decision had been made - a return to the old days of "Weekend Update" as a co-anchor team, with fan favorite Jimmy Fallon and head writer Tina Fey chosen as the new anchors. Other new faces include Jerry Minor and Maya Rudolph, the latter of whom spent two episodes at the
end of last season testing the waters.
2000 is also an important election year, as "SNL" gets the nod from the network to air a prime-time special of favorite political sketches from the first 25 years, complete with the real George W. Bush and Al Gore opening the show. And with an election that seems unable to draw a clear winner, Will Ferrell and Darrell Hammond gain a little extra time to perfect their impressions of the candidates!
Aside from the election special, the cast received an extra 40 minutes' worth of performance time on Thursdays, as NBC attempted to pull some of the ratings from CBS' "Survivor" series. The ploy wasn't very effective, though Molly Shannon helped boost the regular time slot's ratings when she decided to leave "SNL" following the February 17th, 2001 broadcast.