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TV News Roundup: ‘SNL’ Taps Ronda Rousey as Host, Selena Gomez as Musical Guest

UFC fighter Ronda Rousey will host “Saturday Night Live” with musical guest Selena Gomez on Jan. 23, plus more in today’s TV news roundup.

Casting News:

Saturday Night Live is kicking off 2016 with back-to-back new episodes in the new year. Ronda Rousey will host the Jan. 23 episode with Selena Gomez serving as musical guest.

It was previously announced that “Star Wars” villain Adam Driver will host with musical guest Chris Stapleton the week before on Jan. 16.

“Fargo” actress Rachel Keller has been cast as the female lead in “Legion,” according to Deadline. The pilot is set in the X-Men universe and deals with Legion, the son of “X-Men” hero Charles Xavier. It hails from from “Fargo” creator Noah Hawley, Bryan Singer, Marvel TV and FX Prods.

Premiere Dates:

Ahead of the Iowa caucuses, Showtime will premiere “The Circus: Inside the Greatest Political Show on Earth” at 8 p.m. on Jan. 17. The documentary, which is produced by Left/Right and in cooperation with Bloomberg Politics, covers the 2016 presidential race and promises to examine what really goes on behind the carefully constructed facade of a presidential campaign in real time. The documentary premieres the same night as Showtime’s new Damian Lewis-Paul Giamatti drama, “Billions.”

Ratings:

The Dec. 19 telecast of NBC’s “Saturday Night Live,” with hosts Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, saw larger-than-usual ratings gains in time-shifting, according to “live plus-7” estimates from Nielsen. Once full-week VOD and DVR playback are included, the show spiked by 1.45 ratings points in adults 18-49 (to a 3.61) while picking up 3.4 million total viewers (to 10.66 million).

This makes it the second most-watched episode of the show in the past two years, behind only the 12.5 million who tuned in for Donald Trump’s hosting turn on Nov. 15. And in the demo, the show hasn’t notched a higher L+7 rating in nearly two years — since a 4.13 in February 2014 for an episode hosted by Melissa McCarthy that also was Seth Meyers’ final telecast as a regular.

In other L+7 ratings, NBC’s Dec. 14 special “Adele Live in New York City” delivered the biggest Live+7 lifts ever for a primetime music special on the broadcast networks. It spiked 0.66 in 18-49 (to 3.66) and 2.48 million total viewers (to 13.76 million). It now ranks as the highest-rated primetime music special in 11 years, since NBC’s Tim McGraw “Here and Now” special in November 2004 (3.68).

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