Last season, many expected Sudeikis to leave the sketch show along with departing cast members Andy Samberg and Kristen Wiig. But when no announcement came, as they did with those two performers, Sudeikis' future was left uncertain. Even as of August, Sudeikis had yet to make up his mind on whether or not he would return.
Complicating matters is that Sudeikis has portrayed both Mitt Romney and Joe Biden on "SNL." As the show will likely rely heavily on political material between this weekend's season premiere and the Nov. 6 presidential election, losing Sudeikis would have been a blow to the show's consistency.
Michaels confirmed that Sudeikis would stay on through at least January, but did not discount that he would remain in the cast the entire season, saying he's "a fiercely loyal guy."
"SNL" also welcomes three new featured players this season: Chicago comedians Aidy Bryant, Cecily Strong and Tim Robinson.
The 38th season premiere airs Saturday Sept. 15 with host Seth MacFarlane and musical guest Frank Ocean.