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Fey, Dratch leaving ‘SNL’ for ‘30 Rock’

Producer Michaels not happy about ‘Weekend Update’ anchor's departure
/ Source: The Associated Press

Tina Fey is leaving the anchor chair at "Saturday Night Live."

Fey says she's quitting the show after six seasons as head writer and co-anchor of the "Weekend Update" fake news segment to focus on her new NBC prime-time series, "30 Rock," which debuts Oct. 11.

"I'm out of the fake news business now," Fey told the Television Critics Association's summer meeting Saturday.

She announced her "SNL" departure on Friday night's "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno."

"If you're asking if I'm happy about it, no," said Lorne Michaels, executive producer of "30 Rock" and "SNL." "Tina disappearing is a huge hole in the writing staff."

Michaels said various individuals and duos would be tested in September to decide who will replace Fey on the "Weekend Update" segment.

Also leaving "SNL" is regular Rachel Dratch, who plays a sketch actress on Fey's new sitcom about a fictional late-night show.

Fey, 36, first joined "SNL" as a writer in 1997 and became head writer in 1999.

She is writing, starring and executive producer of her new show.

"I'm going to go nuts," she said Saturday. "I do not understand the train that is about to hit me. We're trying to get as much done in the writers' room now before we start and I tried to gather a staff of writers who are experienced so they can proceed when I'm on the set."

"30 Rock" also stars Alec Baldwin and former "SNL" regular Tracy Morgan.