Last Night’s Saturday Night Live Premiere Got Sky-High Ratings – Vanity Fair

Nothing much can beat last year’s premiere of Saturday Night Live, which kicked off a season ripe with unprecedented, merciless political commentary. But last night’s opener came pretty close. The ratings are in, and they mark the opener as the second-best season premiere since 2010—one fell just 15 percent below the record viewership for last season’s debut.

Sunday’s episode aired live coast-to-coast (as will the rest of this season’s episodes), which no doubt assisted the numbers. The cold open also featured Alec Baldwin returning as Donald Trump, making it clear that Lorne Michaels and the rest of the cast aren’t planning on going apolitical any time soon. The episode had a few more draws as well: new cast members, new writers, musical guest Jay-Z and host Ryan Gosling, who has by now become notorious for breaking character with increasing frequency. Last night’s episode averaged just over 7 million viewers and a 1.9 rating among adults 18-49.

Still, the 2016-17 season opener is still the one to beat. The Hollywood Reporter lays it all out for us:

The 2016-17 SNL opener, one that set a eight-year premiere high for
the venerable sketch show, averaged 8.3 million viewers and a live 2.3
rating among adults 18-49. That ultimately just scratched surface,
with SNL hitting more episodic highs throughout the season. Its
aggressive lampooning of the election and the Trump White House
inspired an unpredictable momentum, and, all told, SNL wrapped the
season with an average 11 million viewers and a 3.5 rating among
adults 18-49 — per Nielsen’s live-plus-seven-day ratings.

The 2017-18 season will continue on a strong note, with Kumail Nanjiani and Wonder Woman herself, Gal Gadot, set to host the next couple of episodes. And, let’s be real: for better or (gulp) worse, there will be no shortage of political fodder for SNL to draw from for the foreseeable future.


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