Saturday Night Live‘s 40th anniversary special had everything: New sketches featuring old friends. Remade classic bits. Crowd-pleasing montages. And more than 20 million viewers.
Specifically, Sunday night’s commemorative event drew 23.1 million total viewers from 8 to 11 pm, while drawing a 7.8 demo rating — numbers subject to adjustment once the final half hour gets folded in.
As such, the special currently stands as NBC’s top-rated primetime entertainment telecast (excluding post-Super Bowl programs) in more than eight years (since the Will & Grace series finale), and the most watched in more than 10 years.
Imagine the ratings for the 50th anniversary in 2025 if Eddie Murphy actually comes out and tells a joke?!
ABC | Chris Tells All drew 5.6 mil and a 1.5, while the fresh Bachelor episode that followed did 6 mil/1.5 — hitting a 12-week high for the time period (since the AMAs).
CBS | The final two episodes of CSI Season 15 each did 7 mil/1.1, down 16 percent and two tenths from the show’s most recent Sunday outing. A special Undercover Boss opened the Eye’s night with 6.3 mil/0.9.
FOX | Mulaney‘s (series?) finale mustered 1.1 mil and a 0.4. Up against the SNL behemoth, The Simpsons (2.7 mil/1.1) and Bob’s Burgers (2 mil/0.9) each dipped a tenth, Family Guy (2.5 mil/1.2) slipped two tenths and Brooklyn Nine-Nine (2.1 mil/0.9) fell 20 and 25 percent.