Alec-Baldwin-Hosted SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE Delivers Show's Most-Watched Telecast in 6 Years
SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE has delivered its most-watched telecast in six years. The Feb. 11 edition, hosted by Alec Baldwin and featuring musical guest Ed Sheeran, averaged a 3.10 rating in adults 18-49 and 10.843 million viewers in "live plus same day" figures from Nielsen Media Research, giving it the show's biggest overall audience since Jan. 8, 2011, when an episode hosted by Jim Carrey and featuring musical guest The Black Keys averaged 11.534 million viewers on the night of an NFL overrun.
The last time "Saturday Night Live" delivered a bigger overall audience on a non-NFL night was May 8, 2010 (with host Betty White and musical guest Jay-Z, 12.052 million).
The 3.10 rating in 18-49 makes it the #2 entertainment show of the week on the broadcast networks, behind only Sunday's "Grammy Awards" on CBS (7.8). It's the #2 "Saturday Night Live" of the season in 18-49, slightly behind the first telecast after the November election (3.15 with host Dave Chappelle and musical guest A Tribe Called Quest on Nov. 12, 2016).
This week's "Saturday Night Live" jumped +50% versus NBC's average last year for February originals in 18-49 (3.10 vs. 2.06) and +4.1 million persons or +60% in total viewers (10.843 million vs. 6.791 million).
This was Baldwin's record-breaking 17th time hosting "SNL." The program featured Baldwin appearing as President Donald Trump, Melissa McCarthy as White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer and Kate McKinnon as Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway.
Note that "SNL" adds significant viewership via time-shifting, with originals so far this season growing by +59% in 18-49 and +3.271 million persons or +44% in total viewers nationally going from "live plus same day" Nielsens to "live plus seven day" figures. In L+SD, "SNL" this season has averaged a 2.18 rating in 18-49 nationally and 7.375 million viewers overall, and in L+7, "SNL" grew to a 3.47 in 18-49 and 10.646 million viewers.
Versus the same point last season, "SNL" originals are up +19% in 18-49 nationally (3.47 vs. 2.93) and +1.869 million persons or +21% in total viewers (10.646 million vs. 8.777 million).
The average 10.646 million viewers in L+7 makes this the show's most-watched season at this point in 23 years (versus prior seasons' original telecasts through comparable dates), best since 1993-94 (10.909 million for that season's first 13 originals).
The 3.47 average in L+7 adults 18-49 rating nationally average is the show's best performances in the demo at this point since 2013-14 (3.49 for that season's first 14 originals).
Image courtesy of NBC