Tina Fey Back On "Update"

SNL's "Weekend Update" anchor returns to work, following the September birth of her daughter

By Sarah Hall Oct 20, 2005 9:45 PMTags

Live from Studio 8H, Tina Fey's back on "Weekend Update."

The new mother and head Saturday Night Live writer is returning to the show Saturday, after taking a brief maternity leave following the Sept. 10 birth of her daughter, Alice.

"I had to get back to work...NBC has me under contract; the baby and I only have a verbal agreement," Fey joked in a statement.

All joking aside, the Mean Girls mastermind does indeed have a hefty contract with the Peacock net. Back in 2003, Fey signed a $4 million agreement with NBC that carries her through the current season.

She and "Weekend Update" coanchor Amy Poehler represent the first all-female team to read the fake news on the weekend staple. In Fey's absence, hefty funnyman Horatio Sanz has been filling her "Update" slot.

Fey's comeback episode will be hosted by Catherine Zeta-Jones, with Franz Ferdinand as the musical guest.

Meanwhile, trouble may be brewing for Fey's other project in the works--a sitcom about life backstage at a sketch comedy show much like Saturday Night Live, to be produced by Lorne Michaels.

Casting for the show has reportedly already begun, and the as-yet unnamed series was tentatively slated to premiere on NBC sometime after January.

However, according to trade reports, Aaron Sorkin recently sold a new drama series to the Peacock, also about life backstage at a sketch comedy show akin to SNL, except based in Los Angeles.

NBC is said to have paid in the neighborhood of $21 million for the series, titled Studio 7 on the Sunset Strip, based on the first one-hour episode of the show.

In an email to the New York Post, an NBC spokesperson said, "We're proceeding with the Tina Fey comedy and are excited about it."

But it is unclear how the network plans to balance two shows based on a similar subject matter--that is, if it does plan to do so at all.

Looks like Fey may need to put some of those mean girl skills to use.