Last week, 'Saturday Night Live' returned to Studio 8H and held its Season 46 premiere with a live audience. According to the New York Times, the audience members, which included some first responders, received a USD 150 cheque on their way out of Rockefeller Center for participating in the show, reported Fox News. New York City has some of the most restrictive coronavirus rules in the country which mean that media productions can only have an audience if it's made up of paid individuals (cast, crew) who 'work' for the production company. John Cena Gushes About BTS On the Jimmy Fallon Show, Says ‘The Message They Send To The World Is Special’

Hence why the audience members were paid for their time. It is not clear how many members of the audience were paid. The guidelines also indicate that the show can only have an audience that's 25 per cent of its average size and can never be more than 100 people. As per Fox News, though 'SNL' did not share how much audience members were paid, Sean Ludwig told the Times that he, along with seven friends who attended the premiere, each received a USD 150 cheque from Universal Television, which is part of NBC's parent company. Sex Education Season 3 New Cast: Jemima Kirke, Dua Saleh, Jason Isaacs Join the Netflix Show – Know About the Characters They’ll Play Here

Ludwig said, "We had no idea we would be paid before we were handed cheques. We were all very pleasantly surprised." He also added that before entering the building, he had to take a rapid COVID test and sign health paperwork. Per the Times, state health department spokesman, Jonah Bruno, said that the show had confirmed that they followed the reopening guidance, including selecting audience members through a third-party screening and casting process and compensating them for their time as paid audience members.

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While enjoying the show, the 'SNL' audience members had to keep their masks on and were placed in small groups (of people they requested tickets with) and each group was socially distanced from the next one. Fox News reported-- as the New York City allows, the Emmy-winning series plans on broadcasting live each week.

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