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October Shows To Feature Meteoric Rising Comedy Stars Steve Carell and "Napoleon Dynamite's" Jon Heder, Oscar Winner Catherine Zeta-Jones and National Hero Lance Armstrong

Musical Guests Include Kanye West, Franz Ferdinand And Sheryl Crow
Newcomers Bill Hader and Andy Samberg Join Cast.


NEW YORK -- September 22, 2005 -- "Saturday Night Live" begins its thirty-first season October 1 and in High Definition.

The season premiere will be hosted by Steve Carell hot on the heels of his sleeper comedy "The 40 Year-Old Virgin" and the return of the NBC television series "The Office." Outspoken and award-winning hip-hop artist Kanye West will join Carell as musical guest.

Prior to "Virgin," Carell's star rose with breakout performances opposite Will Ferrell in "Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy" and Jim Carrey in "Bruce Almighty." On television, Carell was well known as a regular on the award-winning "The Daily Show" and is now starring in NBC's American adaptation of the British comedy "The Office" which has been met with praise stateside.

Also making his SNL debut is hip-hop superstar Kanye West. The 28-year-old multiple Grammy winner will perform from his sophomore release "Late Registration" which has debuted at Number One on the Billboard album charts. West has been called "the smartest man in pop music" on a recent cover of Time magazine.

October 8 brings "Napoleon Dynamite" star Jon Heder to the show. The musical guest will be announced later.

October 22 features Oscar winner Catherine Zeta-Jones and music from hot band Franz Ferdinand.

Zeta-Jones makes her SNL debut after a memorable appearance on the show's 25th Anniversary special with a singing Bill Murray. She will soon be seen in "The Legend of Zorro" with Antonio Banderas from their successful film "The Mask of Zorro." Zeta-Jones took home an Academy Award for her work in the musical "Chicago" and was also nominated for a Golden Globe (among other awards) for her work in "Traffic." Other credits include the all-star ensemble "Ocean's 12," "The Terminal" with Tom Hanks, "Intolerable Cruelty" with George Clooney, "Entrapment" with Sean Connery and "America's Sweethearts" with Julia Roberts, Billy Crystal and John Cusack.

Scottish import Franz Ferdinand provides music on the 22nd, performing from their sophomore release "You Could Have It So Much Better." The band toured the world supporting its platinum-selling, Grammy nominated self-titled debut.

Finally, on October 29, SNL welcomes record-breaking seven-time Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong and his fiancee Sheryl Crow as musical guest, who returns to SNL for the third time. Crow will perform from her fifth studio record "Wildflower".

Also making their SNL debuts are newly cast featured players Bill Hader and Andy Samberg. Hader, originally from Tulsa, Okla. comes to "SNL" via Second City Los Angeles. Hader's improv skills were most recently put to use as a "field agent" on MTV's "Punk'd." Samberg, a native of Berkeley, Calif. also moves east to join the show. Samberg was one of three writer-performer-filmmakers dubbed "The Lonely Island" whose films were showcased on the popular "untelevised television network" show and website: Channel 101.com.

Posted by Dale Cripps, September 23, 2005 9:30 AM

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About Dale Cripps

Dale Cripps is a professional journalist who has focused two thirds of his career on the subject of high-definition television. Upon completing his education in business and service in the military he formed Cripps and Associates, South Pasadena, California, in 1964, which operated as a market-development company for aerospace services. In 1983 he turned to television and began what has become a 20 year campaign to pioneer HDTV. For fifteen of those years he published the well-regarded HDTV Newsletter (an international monthly written for television professionals). During much of this same time he also served as the HDTV-Technical Editor for "Widescreen Review Magazine." On November 16, 1998 he launched the Internet distributed HDTV Magazine, which remains the only consumer publication devoted exclusively to high-definition television. In April of 2002 he co-founded with Tedson Meyers of Coudert Bros, the High-definition Television Association of America, which is presently based in Washington DC. Cripps is the president of this organization. Mr. Cripps is a charter member of the Academy of Digital Television Pioneers and honored by that organization with the DTV Press Leadership Award of 2002. He makes his home in Oregon.