Many have tried to compete with SNL in the realm of Saturday sketch comedy, though few ever shared as much DNA as FOX’s upcoming Lonely Island-produced Party Over Here. It took us aback to see Andy Samberg going against his former boss, but the Brooklyn Nine-Nine star reveals that the group made sure their series wouldn’t compete in the SNL timeslot, or move forward without Lorne Michaels’ approval.

The new sketch comedy series will premiere on FOX as early as this coming Saturday, though Lonely Island member Akiva Schaffer tells The Hollywood Reporter that maintaining a cordial relationship with SNL was priority one:

The first thing we said to Fox was, ‘We’ll never go against SNL,’ so we made sure that we ended before they start.

Added Samberg:

We wanted to do something new and exciting and fun but we didn’t want it to have any direct conflict. We want to be asked back! We’re not, like, raging war on SNL. That’s still our home and our family.

Third member Jorma Taccone echoed the process of clearing things with SNL:

We called Lorne Michaels, and like with every conversation with him, it was a half-an-hour long and that part of it lasted 30 seconds. We spewed out everything we were doing and how it’s not in anyway [similar to SNL] and he was like, ‘Oh ok, sounds good. What else is new?’

Also produced by comedian Paul Scheer, starring in the new series will be Girl Code alum Nicole Byer, SNL writer Alison Rich and newcomer Jessica McKenna, with the content covering culture and politics through short sketches and studio segments with a live audience present. The Lonely Island will remain largely off-camera (no doubt working on their new movie) while much of the content will also be released online for promotion.

Party Over Here will premiere Saturday, March 12, in the 11:00 PM timeslot on FOX, but will the SNL alum carve out their own late-night staple?

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