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NBC denies Kenan Thompson is leaving 'Saturday Night Live'

Kenan Thompson (Getty)

Kenan Thompson (Getty) Credit: Kenan Thompson (Getty)

Kenan Thompson -- king of "Saturday Night Live" if royalty is measured in terms of seasons (eleven and counting) -- is leaving the show at the end of next season, according to a report on TMZ that suddenly got quite a few people's attention.

Except..he's not. Or nothing has been decided. Or, to be precise: NBC is denying the report.

SNL's top spokesperson just told me via email: "This report is inaccurate as the season hasn’t even started and cast decisions aren’t made until the end of the season."

At the end of this season -- which begins Saturday -- Thompson's long and fruitful reign will have gone twelve seasons, one of the longest in show history, exceeded only by Darrell Hammond and Seth Meyers, and matched by Al Franken. Would therefore a departure by season's end be out of the question? Of course not! Thompson's had a great run, and great runs here are eventually succeeded by (but not always) movie ones. He's set to star in "The Opposite Sex" with Mena Suvari, Jennifer Finnigan, Kristin Chenoweth and Eric Roberts.

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