"Saturday Night Live" returned for its thirty-third season on September 29th, 2007 with no changes in store. Even Maya Rudolph, whom many had suspected was leaving when last season's finale practically served as her swan song, returned with the rest of the now-static cast.
The catalyst for change, however, would lie in the Writer's Guild of America strike, which promptly put the season on hold after only four episodes. Although writer's strikes had either interrupted seasons or brought them to an early end in the past, this was the first to inflict itself so early into the season, leaving many to wonder if this would be "SNL"'s shortest season ever. After roughly fourteen weeks, the Writer's Guild strike was resolved and "SNL" finally returned to air on February 23rd, 2008, with former head writer-turned-actress Tina Fey on-deck to host.
For the first time in thirty-two years, the cast would perform four live shows in a row, a routine that had exhausted the original cast when they did so twice in the first season. Noticably absent from the first post-strike episode was Rudolph, who had decided not to renew her contract in the interim. Taking her place as a featured performer is Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre veteran, Casey Wilson.