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Ratings: NBC’s ‘Saturday Night Live’ Spikes With Adele, Matthew McConaughey

The combination of Matthew McConaughey as host and Adele as musical guest helped NBC’s “Saturday Night Live” post its second highest overnight rating of the past 10 months — behind only the Nov. 7 telecast featuring Donald Trump —and stood as the evening’s top-rated program.

According to Nielsen, “Saturday Night Live” averaged a 4.6 household rating/12 share in the 56 metered markets, up a big 15% from the prior week’s 4.0/10 for an episode hosted by Elizabeth Banks. In the past year, the only two episodes to have rated higher in the overnights was the Trump episode earlier this month (6.6/16) and the Jan. 24 show featuring “The Voice” judge Blake Shelton as host and musical guest (4.7/12).

Last night’s “SNL” was especially strong among young adults, with its 2.3 rating/11 share in the 25 markets with Local People Meters second for all of 2015 behind only the 2.7/13 for the Nov. 7 installment. Excluding that episode hosted by Trump, last night’s 2.3 preliminary score in the demo is the best for the show since a Nov. 1, 2014 episode with Chris Rock and Prince (2.4).

Based on recent translations of overnights to nationals, last night’s episode is expected to average in the vicinity of 7 million viewers. This season, “Saturday Night Live” is seeing significant viewership gains via time-shifting, with originals growing by 51% when going from “live plus same-day” to “live plus 7,” according to Nielsen.

“SNL” will have a busier than usual December this year, with three episodes on tap to close out 2015. Ryan Gosling (Dec. 5), Chris Hemsworth (Dec. 12) and the combo of Tina Fey and Amy Poehler (Dec. 19) are set as hosts.

The highest-rated program overall on Saturday was the late-afternoon (3:30-7 p.m. ET) college football matchup between defending national champion Ohio State and rival Michigan State on ABC. The Spartans’ 17-14 upset of the Buckeyes courtesy of a last-second field goal averaged a 7.0 overnight household rating, according to Nielsen — the highest overnight for any college football game on any network this fall. The game did a 42.0 in Columbus and a 26.0 in Detroit.

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