Ariana Grande, Chris Pratt set for 'Saturday Night Live' premiere

Ariana Grande and Chris Pratt will help "Saturday Night Live" kick off its 40th season.

Story highlights

  • Ariana Grande and Chris Pratt will be on "SNL's" season 40 premiere
  • The following episode will feature Sarah Silverman and Maroon 5
  • "SNL" is facing a lot of changes this season
"Saturday Night Live" is recruiting some breakout star power for its 40th season debut.
Ariana Grande, following the chart-topping success of her second album, "My Everything," will serve as musical guest, while Chris Pratt, star of the blockbuster superhero flick "Guardians of the Galaxy," will host the premiere episode, which airs on September 27.
The season's second episode, set for October 4, will mark the "SNL" hosting debut of comedian-actress (and former "SNL" cast member) Sarah Silverman, with Maroon 5 making their fifth overall appearance as musical guest. Silverman's latest comedy album, "We Are Miracles" (taken from her Emmy-winning HBO stand-up special) will hit shelves on September 23; Maroon 5 released their fifth LP, "V," earlier this month.
The 40th season of "SNL" will feature more tweaks among its ever-shifting cast. Noël Wells and John Milhiser, both featured players last season, and cast member Brooks Wheelan were dismissed from the sketch series earlier this summer, while five-season veteran Nasim Pedrad departed to co-star on the new Fox series "Mulaney" (executive-produced by longtime "SNL" boss, Lorne Michaels).
An unconfirmed Deadline report also speculated that featured player and former writer Michael Patrick O'Brien could shift back to the writing staff or join Colin Jost for a co-hosting stint on "Weekend Update."
But the show's biggest shake-up is a permanent one: Season 40 will be the first in decades without the booming voice of announcer Don Pardo, who died last month at age 96.
The always-smooth pro was an NBC employee throughout his storied 70-year career, working as an announcer for several shows before being hired for "SNL" in 1975. Pardo's signature vocal delivery was a staple on the series for 38 seasons.