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.