Leslie Jones Exiting 'SNL,' Kate McKinnon Back Next Season

August 27, 2019
WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - JUNE 07: Actors Leslie Jones (L) and Kate McKinnon attend ELLE Women In Comedy event hosted by ELLE Editor-in-Chief Robbie Myers and Leslie Jones, Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon and Kristen Wiig on June 7, 2016 at Hyde Sunset in Los

(Photo credit: Mike Windle/Getty Images)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — "Saturday Night Live" cast member Leslie Jones is leaving the NBC show after five seasons, while Kate McKinnon is sticking around.

Jones' departure was confirmed by a person familiar with the change who spoke Tuesday on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to publicly discuss Jones' status with the long-running sketch series.

The departure comes as Jones is branching out into other projects.

The person also said McKinnon will return for her eighth season with the show. McKinnon's portrayals of political figures including Hillary Clinton and Jeff Sessions have become a "SNL" staple.

Earlier this month, Jones announced she's doing a Netflix stand-up special. Appearing on Jimmy Kimmel's late-night show, Jones said it's great to be an actress but that she's really a "hardcore" stand-up comedian.