SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE Delivers No. 2 Most-Watched Season Premiere in 7 Years

SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE Delivers No. 2 Most-Watched Season Premiere in 7 Years

SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE Delivers No. 2 Most-Watched Season Premiere in 7 Years

The 43rd season premiere of SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE has generated the show's second most-watched season opener in seven years, trailing over that span only last year's election-fueled results, according to "fast official" "live plus same day" results from Nielsen Media Research. With a telecast hosted by Ryan Gosling and featuring musical guest Jay-Z, last night's "Saturday Night Live" averaged 7.020 million viewers overall and a 1.91 rating in adults 18-49.

The Sept. 30 edition, which aired live coast to coast (11:30 p.m. ET, 8:30 p.m. PT) and counted unduplicated viewers from 11:30 encores in western markets, generated the show's second biggest overall audience for a season debut since Sept. 25, 2010, when the telecast hosted by Amy Poehler and featuring musical guest Katy Perry, averaged a slightly higher 7.022 million viewers.

Over that seven-year span, the only bigger result for an "SNL" season debut came with last year's opener, hosted by Margot Robbie and featuring musical guest The Weeknd, as well as the first appearance of Alec Baldwin as then-Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump (8.297 million viewers overall, 2.34 rating in adults 18-49). Last year's premiere was at that time the show's most-watched in eight years and highest-rated in 18-49 in three years.

Note that "Saturday Night Live" will add significant viewership via time-shifting and VOD. Last season's 21 originals grew by +60% in adult 18-49 rating and +3.406 million persons or +44% in total viewers nationally going from "live plus same day" Nielsens to "live plus seven day" figures..

That season's average 11.071 million viewers in L+7 made 2016-17 the show's most-watched season in 23 years, "SNL's" best since 1993-94 (11.320 million). The 3.51 average in L+7 adult 18-49 rating nationally made it the show's best season in that demo in seven years (since the 2009-10 season, a 3.51).

Photo by: Will Heath/NBC

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