UPDATE: Donald Trump on ‘Saturday Night Live’ Draws 9.3 Million Viewers

Donald Trump 'Saturday Night Live' Ratings:
Courtesy of NBC

UPDATED: In total-viewer estimates released Thursday by Nielsen, the Nov. 7 episode of “Saturday Night Live” hosted by Donald Trump averaged 9.3 million viewers, the show’s largest audience since 2013 (9.44 million for when Jimmy Fallon hosted and Justin Timberlake was the musical guest). And in adults 18-49, last week’s 2.34 rating is the highest since last January (2.37 for host and musical guest Blake Shelton).

The episode is up vs. the “SNL” season-to-date average for originals by 34% in 18-49 (from 1.75) and by 61% in total viewers (from 5.75 million).


Donald Trump continues to be ratings gold just about everywhere he shows up, with his hosting turn on NBC’s “Saturday Night Live” lifting the program to its top overnight household score in nearly four years.

According to Nielsen, last night’s telecast averaged a 6.6 rating/16 share in metered-market household results, up 57% from the show’s fall average (4.2) and the top rating since Jan. 7, 2012 with host Charles Barkley and musical guest Kelly Clarkson. Saturday’s rating is also up 53% vs. “SNL’s” year-ago November average (4.3).

In Nielsen’s 25 markets with Local People Meters, “SNL” averaged a 2.7 rating/10 share — the show’s best since Feb. 1, 2014 with Melissa McCarthy and Imagine Dragons. “Saturday Night Live” had been averaging a 2.0 demo rating this fall.

Nielsen will issue total-viewer estimates for Saturday’s telecast later this week, but it figures to be around 9 million, based on the overnights. Last season, the show peaked in November with 7.44 million viewers when Chris Rock hosted and Prince was the musical guest.

Trump, of course, has been a ratings magnet ever since he got in the race earlier this year. The GOP debates, starting with the first one on Fox News in August, have broken all-time records, and appearances by Trump provided a Nielsen spike for shows including NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Fox News Channel’s “Hannity” and CBS’ “Late Show with Stephen Colbert,” which delivered the program’s best numbers outside of its premiere when Trump visited in September.

Donald Trump as host of “SNL” would have appeared to be a long shot as recently as a few months ago. NBC Entertainment had publicly severed ties with Trump on “The Apprentice” and Miss Universe/Miss USA pageants during the summer, only to get back in business with him in time for the November sweep.

Out of concern for TV’s so-called “equal time” rule, which could afford comparable air time on NBC stations for any of Trump’s political opponents who request it over the next week, “SNL” kept the GOP front-runner’s screen time to a minimum. According to a Variety analysis, Trump appeared onscreen last night for just 12 minutes, or less than half the time as Amy Schumer when she hosted the show last month.



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  1. Jordan Parker says:

    Well, well…. Attempting to disrupt a television show and a classless video back-fired on the so-called Deport Racism buffoons didn’t it! Yet, they will continue to wonder why the majority of Americans no longer take them seriously. They have only themselves to blame.

    As someone living in California, I’ve seen too many illegals come in and damage our neighborhoods and towns. Crime has risen, property values have fallen, and the influx of minimum wage workers takes jobs from high schoolers..

    We can no longer afford to “split the pot” with everyone who wants a piece. America is struggling enough as it is. Most of us are making below living wage and just had our health insurance forcefully taken away. I make 60k per year and my healthcare is up to $400 per month; compare this to my $25/month car insurance (from Insurance Panda) or my $13/month renters insurance. Both private enterprise (take note, Obama).

    Trump is totally correct on this topic. Illegals are ruining this country and the president is allowing this to happen.

    The established politicians collect their monies and make fortunes on information they shouldn’t have. The courts are packed where our values and our morals are made a mockery of. This is why Trump is soaring in the polls. He has listened to the American voter.

  2. Paul Fredine says:

    they could have advertised broadcasting a live car crash and gotten great ratings because, well, you know people just can’t resist staring at a car crash. same thing here. just because ratings were up doesn’t mean something that hasn’t been funny in years was any better.

  3. 85wzen says:

    Hillary and Trump. How’s that for ratings!

  4. Sandra says:

    Donald Trump is an egotistical, sick man. He thrives on mental self flagellation and demands absolute adoration by those around him. What is horrifying is the great unwashed, undereducated, disillusioned and haters who have pinned their sick hopes on Trump’s inflammatory rabble rousing.
    Trump has called out the worst that this great land has to offer, creating a rabid mob of disenfranchised losers. When Trump fails, and he will, where will his louts put all their anger?

  5. WE Support TRUMP and enjoy EVERY aspect of his persona ! He should be viewed as the MOST interesting Presidential candidate for his Success at everything he attempts

  6. goatsandmonkeys says:

    I hear Trump made them pull the best scenes.

  7. EK says:

    An unabashed play for ratings help for a flagging show, the Trump booking succeeded in that goal but failed to deliver a satisfactory show. Overall, it got the ratings but did nothing for SNL or, for that matter, Trump, both of which were embarrassing and transparent. NBC resembles Fox in its relationship with Trump, smiles when it benefits them and antagonist when it suits their PR needs. Politics and show biz mashup.

  8. GH says:

    Go figure. Trump had his dance moves on.

  9. Susan says:

    Oh I hope that I can get his new book please

  10. Susan says:

    Hi I hope that trump will be a present and hope he will win of 2016

  11. thatguyvlad says:


  12. Yes, Donald can be counted on to deliver that prime demographic, white men over 50. Next year, we will all be saying this is when SNL definitively jumped the shark.

  13. Nicholas P. Schiavone says:

    Informative from a number of important perspectives. Thank you, Variety.

    However, you do have me wondering about
    the difference between the LPM [2.7] and
    the Set Meter Markets [6.6] ratings
    for SNL on 11.07.

    Given the fact that Nielsen’s LPM
    [Local People Meter] Markets are likely
    to be many of the Top 25 US Markets,
    and have all their tuning and viewing electronically measured …

    Why did NBC, Nielsen or Variety lead their Preds Release or news story with the ratings of the smaller TV markets that are incompletely measured (I.e., no persons viewing,
    only set tuning metered)?

    And why is Nielsen planning to fabricate 40% of its National Viewing Data starting 12.28.15
    by adding Set Meter Households to the NPM [National People Meter] Sample?
    Isn’t that a giant step backwards to 1987
    in TV Audience Membership?

    Hope the MRC [Media Rating Council] puts an end to Nielsen’s madness. And, as one who admired Barry Goldwater, I hope the GOP
    puts an end to Trump’s “anti-social” Presidential Candidacy that NBC so cravenly took advantage of on Saturday night.

    From an artistic perspective show wasn’t even comedy which I thought was supposed to be
    the point. The show was over once Larry David heckled Trump, saying what we wanted to say.

    What are NBC and Nielsen thinking?
    Only MONEY. Viewers be damned.
    Don’t serve them! Don’t count them!

    Thanks again, Variety.

  14. Ray Burke says:

    SNL was another winner for The Donald !!! He seems to have the Midas Touch !!! Keep it up Donald !!!
    You’re driving your detractors crazy but your success comes with a price !!! Watch your back 24/7/365 !!!
    Your enemies are becoming desperate !!!

  15. Explain to me why someone is racist for only wanting people to be here legally, This Country has gotten so far off track it isn’t even funny!

    Obama won’t tell us how much the American taxpayer supports illegal aliens , but some of the state leaders have! South Dakota $87 million in handouts , North Carolina $1.6 billion , Virginia 878 million.

    We can no longer afford to “split the pot” with everyone who wants a piece. America is struggling enough as it is. Most of us are making below living wage and just had our health insurance forcefully taken away. I make 60k per year and my healthcare is up to $400 per month; compare this to my $25/month car insurance (from Insurance’Panda) or my $13/month renters insurance . Both private enterprise (take note, Obama).

    • LATINA FOR TRUMP says:

      You could have bought a new care with that healthcare money and put some Americans to work. So sad what is happening to us because of Obama.

    • BillUSA says:


      That’s because a lot of people don’t like doing the work it takes to understand the definitions of terms we use in the English languange. Understanding of such has given way to the dulcet tone of parroting the whine of others who, like themselves, have avoided the truth or distort it to their advantage.

    • Cooper says:

      haha $1.6 billion? Who is kidding who? throwing out stupid numbers.

      • jbedunah2 says:

        Beachmuffin said they pay billions into our tax coffers yet admits they are “paid under the table” which means they don’t pay taxes. You can’t have both… either you are getting taxed or you are getting paid under the table.

      • jdahunt says:

        The are illegals not undocumented…..Illegals because they are breaking the law…..you prefer undocumented so as to make people believe that they are in fact law abiding people.

        Secondly they pay zero income tax…..the taxes they pay in sales taxes are for their local contribution but pays nothing for their high cost….billions and billions paid by the federal government in the form of our income taxes.

        It is actually complete dishonesty on the liberals part as to why there has been no immigration reform…..Reagan went along with it once and was promised a wall and border enforcement and all that has happened is an open floodgate of millions more……its time to put an end to this big lie and call it for what it is.

      • beachmuffin says:

        Jordan is just full of it. The undoc’d are hard workers and pay lots of taxes and don’t get anything back for it. It is estimated they pay billions into our tax coffers.

        The reason we can’t have Comprehensive Immigration Reform is that business supporters of the GOP like this under the table work force. They can take advantage of them and pay substandard wages and an undoc’d worker can’t complain.

  16. The Donald could get a new Reality Show “The White House”. That would spare us him doing the Apprentice again and all the pseudo President cabinet shows could go on permanent hiatus.

  17. macdoctors says:

    Repost: When both extremes, the left and right, hate him so much, then he’s my president. Here’s what I love about Trump: 1. Strong, cocky, confident leader who does not back down from a fight. We need someone to tune out the PC static that prevents America from defending herself from all the threats around the world and here at home. 2. He’s honest and authentic. I know he’s brash and rubs illegal aliens and the good ol’ boys at the Chamber of Greed the wrong way, and that’s exactly what we need. He supports the MIDDLE AMERICAN, not the extremes. 3. He is not afraid to call America’s enemies out, and that includes the INVASION of welfare-exploiting il😤legal aliens. I’m all in for Trump!

    • LATINA FOR TRUMP says:


    • BillUSA says:

      If Trump becomes President, I will be as surprised of Hillary not being able to ride a plowed road to the White House as I would be thankful of having someone in the chair who got there on their own dime. He would be a most interesting Commander-in-Chief. One of my greatest hopes is that Trump’s candidacy gives birth to a third party.

    • mightymad says:

      Actually, the Left are just laughing their butts off at him, and really, REALLY want him to become the Republican nominee.

      The Right, however… yeah, they hate him.

      • Margaret says:

        Not sure who you’re talking about, but Tried & True Patriotic Americans want Trump to right the ship, because we’re angry about what Obama has done to our country…our Military…our race-relations, etc.

      • jdahunt says:

        The left is completely afraid of the Donald hence the false hit pieces on him…….now on the other hand most conservatives prefer Hillary since we all know that it is impossible for her to win with her high negative numbers….in fact no person in our history has ever won a first term election with negatives as high as hers…..face it a big majority of americans don’t trust her and believe that she is dishonest.

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