×

‘SNL’ Hits Seven-Year Ratings High With Melissa McCarthy’s Return as Sean Spicer

“Saturday Night Live” continued its ratings winning streak this week, with the most recent episode delivering the most-watched May telecast of the series in the past seven years.

This week’s episode, which featured host Melissa McCarthy’s return as White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer, averaged a 2.7 rating in adults 18-49 and 10.3 million viewers, according to Nielsen overnight data. The previous best May episode aired in 2011, with host Justin Timberlake and musical guest Lady Gaga drawing a 3.7 rating.

It’s also the number two episode of the season in total viewers, behind only the Feb. 11 edition, which drew 10.8 million and featured host Alec Baldwin, and the number three episode of the season in the key demo, behind only the Feb. 11 episode and the Nov. 12 episode with host Dave Chappelle.

In addition, the demo rating is good enough to tie with the CBS sitcom “The Big Bang Theory” as the highest-rated broadcast show of the week.

The long-running NBC sketch series has thrived in the ratings thanks in large part to regular appearances by McCarthy as Spicer and Baldwin as President Donald Trump, with this season up 25% in the demo and 31% in total viewers compared to the same point last year. It is currently averaging just under 11 million viewers per episode, counting delayed viewing, making it the most watched season since 1993.

The network and executive producer Lorne Michaels have decided to air the final four episodes of this season live in all time zones. The Season 42 finale airs next week with host Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and musical guest Katy Perry.

More TV

  • 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 [...]

  • The Beatles Eight Days a Week

    Imagine's Documentary Arm Sets First-Look Pact With Apple (EXCLUSIVE)

    Brian Grazer and Ron Howard’s Imagine Documentaries has set a first-look pact with Apple to develop non-fiction features and series. The deal comes as Imagine is investing heavily in the premium non-fiction arena. The company in June recruited RadicalMedia veteran Justin Wilkes to head Imagine Documentaries as president. The deal suggests that Apple sees docu [...]

  • Fyre Festival Documentaries: The 10 Most

    Fyre Festival Documentaries: The 10 Most Outrageous Moments

    It is perhaps only fitting that two documentaries about the disastrous Fyre Festival, one of the most high-profile fraudulent failures in history, would arrive during the same week — a fitting cap on a tragicomedy of errors that, as both films outline in excruciating detail, unfolded like a slow-motion plane crash in the spring of [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content