Leslie Jones earned three Emmy nominations during her five-season run on the NBC series

By Eric Todisco
August 27, 2019 04:17 PM

Leslie Jones is departing the cast of Saturday Night Live after five seasons, according to multiple reports.

The comedian and actress, 51, first joined the NBC comedy sketch series in 2014 as a writer. She quickly became a prominent cast member during the “Weekend Update” segments, earning three Emmy nominations during her five seasons.

Jones will now be focusing on her new Netflix standup special, set to air in 2020. The special will begin filming in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 10, which she revealed last weekend on Jimmy Kimmel Live!

She is also set to star in The Angry Birds Movie 2 as the evil villain Zeta.

Will Heath/NBC

Meanwhile, Emmy winner and former SNL cast member Kate McKinnon has closed a deal to return to the series, according to The Hollywood Reporter. McKinnon’s contract was up in May, after seven total seasons on the show.

Besides Jones, main cast members Beck Bennett, Aidy Bryant, Michael Che, Pete Davidson, Mikey Day, Heidi Gardner, Kyle Mooney, Chris Redd, Cecily Strong and Kenan Thompson are all set to star in the upcoming 45th season.

On Monday, Eddie Murphy was confirmed as this year’s Christmas episode host, marking his first time on the show in 35 years.

Woody Harrelson will kick off the season premiere on Sept. 28, with Billie Eilish as the musical guest. Fleabag’s Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Stranger ThingsDavid Harbour and Kristen Stewart will also host.

And Taylor Swift will take the stage to sing new songs off her hit album Lover on Oct. 5.

SNL returns Sept. 28 at 11:30 p.m. ET on NBC.