Saturday Night Live Ratings

Ratings: SNL Hits 6-Year Audience High, Up 60% From a Year Ago

This weekend’s edition of Saturday Night Live, with 17-time host Alec Baldwin and returning scene-stealer Melissa McCarthy, scored its largest audience — 10.84 million total viewers — since Jan. 8, 2011, when host Jim Carrey and musical guest The Black Keys delivered 11.5 mil on the night of an NFL overrun.

Factoring out any such NFL-boosted outings, you’d have to go back to May 8, 2010 (when host Betty White/musical guest Jay-Z played to 12.1 million viewers) to find a bigger audience.

Compared to the long-running sketch series’ February 2016 average with originals, this week’s audience represents a 60 percent surge.

In the demo, SNL scored a 3.1, its No. 2 outing of the season (trailing Dave Chappelle/A Tribe Called Quest) and broadcast TV’s second-highest rated entertainment program of the week (behind Sunday’s Grammys).

Perhaps to capitalize on Season 42’s ratings streak, NBC reportedly is thinking about spinning off SNL‘s Weekend Update segment into its own 30-minute, Thursday-night series to launch in the fall.

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15 Comments
  1. Donald says:

    should change the name of the site from TVline to SNLline.

  2. tired of it says:

    It’s sad that it basically takes hate to give SNL good ratings

    • Ben says:

      Yeah, we’re all tired of it too. That is, criticism of Trump being called ‘hate’. It’s not, especially not in satire form.

    • Wordsmith says:

      Comedy, as with many forms of art, thrives on discontent. It’s sad that people are unhappy, but the surge in the quality and popularity of satire is a completely natural silver lining.

    • DL says:

      In reality it gives a lot of people relief from the stress and seriousness of everything by letting us laugh at the absurdity of it all. That’s certainly what it does for me. It’s cathartic.

  3. AngelWasHere says:

    I was expecting an epic episode and it was the same as ever. Maybe I got a few more giggles, but meh. And honestly don’t see what’s so funny about McCarthy. I wish Baldwin would have open the show instead with Trump.

  4. Michelle says:

    They can thank Ed Sheeran for those ratings.

  5. Dizzle says:

    I feel like if they really wanted to capitalise on the ratings boost, they’d find a way to schedule another new episode before March (!)

  6. Gordon VanderHelm says:

    What’s the old saying? Figures don’t lie but liars figure? It’s easy to increase viewership 50% when you start in the basement. Does anybody realize how pitiful a 7.2 TV rating is? Don’t compare to recent SNL highs. Compare to the 70’s and 80’s and then gloat.

    • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

      LOL. OK.

    • Wordsmith says:

      I assume you know how TV ratings work, right? You can’t compare modern viewership share across a hundred different networks to forty years ago when there were about five. By modern standards, a 7.2 is as good as you get without being the Superbowl.

  7. SeanP says:

    Kate McKinnon is the only true comedic standout in one of the weakest SNL casts since the banner days of Carvey, Myers, Hartman and Sanders.. However, she can only do so much of the heavy lifting before burn out or overexposure sets in. The funniest bits over the past couple of years have been the political themed cold opens. Baldwin has been hit or miss with his Trump impression, but Melissa McCarthy has been fantastic. The only one close to her Spicer impression is Tina Fey’s Palin, with Larry David’s Bernie a close second. As for spinning off Weekend Update?!? WTF?!? The one part of SNL that you could count on as being watchable was Weekend Update, but that hasn’t been true since Cecily Strong had first chair. Even then, Weekend Update was only watchable compared to an even weaker show. Her replacement, Michael Che, has been absolutely horrible. I suspect he must suffer from dyslexia given his obvious struggles with the English language and his often painful attempts to read his lines off the cue cards. His cot-host, Jost, is pure vanilla-blandness and is eminently forgettable/replaceable. Given the weakness of the writing, to seriously consider a dedicated spin-off boggles the mind, but certainly explains why NBC’s ratings continue to in the proverbial toilet. Look to Chase, Curtain, Miller or even Fey and Poehler if you want funny, cutting edge comedic commentary on current events and political satire.

  8. Billy Bob Johnson says:

    Thanks, Trump.