TMZ has learned that due to low ratings, NBC execs wanted to cut the show's episode order to 19 - as opposed to the usual 20.
Lorne Michaels, the show's executive producer, stepped in and promised to bring the show in on budget. Network brass reconsidered and gave the go ahead for the 20 episodes for "SNL's" 32nd season.
Unfortunately, in order to stay on budget there need to be cutbacks. Translation: many cast and crew won't be getting raises and others will be let go. Somebody cue Debbie Downer.
As has been reported, Tiny Fey and Rachel Dratch are leaving the seminal late-night sketch show to work on Fey's new NBC sitcom based on "SNL" called "30 Rock."
And a source tells TMZ that it also looks like Horatio Sanz and Will Forte won't be back either. More cast and writing staff changes are said to be looming.
TMZ contacted a rep for "SNL" who said this is "unconfirmed and uncorroborated. We are not commenting. "
NBC is expected to make a formal announcement regarding the new season of "SNL" around Labor Day.