After Brooks Wheelan, a new cast member and Wire favorite last season on SNL, announced he would not be returning to the show on Twitter yesterday, it seems that two of his featured player brethren are also getting the boot. Nellie Andreeva of Deadline reports this afternoon that both Noël Wells and John Milhiser will not be returning to the cast. Wheelan tweeted yesterday: "Had a blast and loved every second of it. I'm totally honored to be able to make this next joke... FIRED FROM NEW YORK IT'S SATURDAY NIGHT!"
This past season was what many considered a transitional one at the show. At the outset the show added six new cast members, and faced widespread criticism for their lack of diversity. In January the show added Sasheer Zamata, after promising to add a black woman to the cast.
For now, Zamata's place in the cast seems safe, as do the spots held by Kyle Mooney and Beck Bennett, two of last season's additions who made a mark on the show with their digital shorts. According to Andreeva, the future of Mike O'Brien, a writer turned feature player, is less clear. Andreeva wrote that she hears "discussions are underway for O’Brien’s future on the show that could involve him returning to the writing staff or continuing to have on-screen presence if he stays on."
Longstanding cast member Nasim Pedrad is also leaving the late-night show for the Fox sitcom Mulaney.