Ratings: SNL Returns With Second-Largest Premiere Audience in 12 Years

Saturday Night Live Season 46 Premiere Trump Biden Harris

Saturday Night Live‘s Season 46 premiere, with host Chris Rock and musical guest Megan Thee Stallion, delivered 7.77 million total viewers and a 1.68 demo rating, marking the NBC sketch comedy series’ most watched season opener in four years (since 2016, when Margot Robbie and The Weeknd drew 8.3 mil).

Excluding that 2016 telecast, this weekend’s episode represents the most-watched season premiere since 2008 (when Michael Phelps and musical guest Lil Wayne delivered 10.15 million).

TVLine readers gave the episode an average grade of C-.

In the demo, excluding last season’s historic Dec. 21 telecast hosted by Eddie Murphy and with musical guest Lizzo, the Season 46 premiere was the top-rated SNL episode in two years, since the Sept. 29, 2018 season opener with Adam Driver and Kanye West.

SNL‘s return also marks the No. 1 most-watched entertainment telecast of the week to date on the Big 4 networks and No. 2-rated, behind only The Masked Singer’s 1.87.

The Live+Same Day numbers reported in our ratings column do not reflect a show’s overall performance, given the increased use of delayed playback via DVR and streaming platforms, plus out-of-home viewing. These numbers (Nielsen fast nationals, unless denoted as finals) instead aim to simply illustrate trends or superlatives. Warning: Contents may be hot!

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