×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

‘Saturday Night Live’ Gets Ratings Boost With Coast-to-Coast Live Airing

Saturday Night Live” delivered its highest ratings since February with its first-ever episode to air live in all U.S. time zones.

The Jimmy Fallon-hosted installment featured guest appearances by Alec Baldwin as President Donald Trump and Melissa McCarthy as White House press secretary Sean Spicer. Saturday’s segment averaged 7.9 million viewers and a 2.3 rating in the adults 18-49 demographic, according to Nielsen’s live-same-day measure. That’s the show’s best since the Feb. 11 episode hosted by Baldwin brought in 10.8 million viewers and 3.1 in the demo.

NBC noted that “SNL’s” demo score, which will grow with time-shifted viewing factored in, makes it the No. 3 entertainment telecast of last week, behind CBS’ “The Big Bang Theory” and Fox’s “Empire.”

Saturday’s showing continues “SNL’s” hot streak. NBC’s late-night mainstay is having its most-watched season in 23 years, with an average of 11 million viewers in live-plus-7 ratings, compared to 11.2 million in 1993-94. In adults 18-49, with a 3.5 average, “SNL” is at its highest point in nearly a decade, since the 2008-09 season (4.0).

Compared to the same point last season, “SNL” viewership is up 22% in the demo and 28% in total viewers.

NBC and “SNL” exec producer Lorne Michaels made the decision to air the last four installments of this season live in all time zones to capitalize on the show’s renewed cultural relevance. It’s also a nod to the fact that social media chatter from the Eastern time zone airing often spoils the surprises for viewers in other time zones.

Airing live coast-to-cast was is a way to ensure “everyone is in on the joke at the same time,” NBC chief Bob Greenblatt said in announcing the decision last month.

NBC’s ratings researchers will surely scrutinize the delayed viewing stats for the episode to see if they drop as a result of the all-live telecast. For all of the changes in TV, live linear viewing is still the most lucrative audience for broadcast networks from an advertising sales perspective.

More TV

  • FICG Names Estrella Araiza As New

    Estrella Araiza To Head Up Guadalajara Intl Film Festival

    The Guadalajara Intl. Film Festival (FICG) has announced that Estrella Araiza, until now the festival’s head of industry and markets and director of the Guadalajara IntL. Film Festival in Los Angeles, has been promoted to the position of general director of the prominent Mexican festival. She replaces Ivan Trujillo, appointed director of TV UNAM. Araiza [...]

  • AGS2 Key Art, Image IDs: AGS2_081218_2727,

    Starz Releases 'American Gods' Season 2 Trailer (Watch)

    Starz has released a second season trailer for “American Gods,” which returns to the cabler Mar. 10, depicting the brewing war between Gods old and new in the series based on Neil Gaiman’s novel of the same name. “When people first came to America they brought us with them,” the trailer begins, flashing images of [...]

  • R. Kelly

    R. Kelly Accusers Detail Abuse, Reveal Evidence on 'Dateline'

    The continuing controversy surrounding R. Kelly, including allegations of sexual abuse by a number of women over three decades, was the focus of Friday’s episode of “Dateline.” Speaking to accusers Sparkle, Jerhonda Pace and parents Tim and Jonjelyn Savage, among others, NBC’s Andrea Canning heard more harrowing tales of abduction and sexual misconduct on the part [...]

  • Kenan Thompson

    NBC Orders Comedy Pilots 'Saving Kenan' and 'Like Magic'

    NBC has ordered comedies “Saving Kenan” and “Like Magic” to pilot. “Saving Kenan” is a single-camera comedy starring “Saturday Night Live” veteran Kenan Thompson as a “newly widowed dad determined to be everything for his kids while begrudgingly letting his persistent father-in-law become more involved in their lives.” Jackie Clarke will serve as writer and [...]

  • The First -- "The Choice" -

    'The First' Canceled at Hulu After One Season

    Hulu has grounded the space exploration drama “The First” after one season, Variety has confirmed. The series hailed from Beau Willimon and starred Sean Penn and Natascha McElhone in Penn’s first regular television role. “The First” was set in the near future and followed the first human mission to Mars. Hulu gave the show a straight-to-series order in [...]

  • Nicole Maines Supergirl Trans Hollywood Portrait

    TV Roundup: 'Supergirl' Drops First Look at Nicole Maines as TV's First Trans Superhero

    In today’s TV News Roundup, The CW releases a first look at Nicole Maines on “Supergirl” and Variety unveils an exclusive look at Gabriel Iglesias’ new comedy special.  FIRST LOOKS truTV has released the first trailer for season 2 of Emmy-nominated series “At Home with Amy Sedaris.” The variety sketch comedy returns Tuesday, Feb. 19 at [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content