NEW YORK — Saturday Night Live, NBC’s iconic late-night comedy show, debuted its 42nd season this past weekend and ratings were up 29% from a year ago according to the network.
Ratings for Saturday night’s show were the highest season debut in eight years according to “live plus same day” viewing figures from the 56 local markets metered by Nielsen Media Research.
The season premiere was hosted by actress Margot Robbie (above) and featured musical guest The Weeknd, as well as appearances by Alec Baldwin as Donald Trump and Larry David as Sen. Bernie Sanders. The “Saturday Night Live” episode averaged a 5.8 household rating, 15 share in the metered markets, up +29% from last year’s 4.5/11 for the Oct. 3, 2015 season-opening telecast.
It’s the highest metered-market household rating for an SNL season premiere since Sept. 13, 2008, when the telecast hosted by Josh Brolin and featuring musical guest Lil Wayne as well as an appearance by Tina Fey as Gov. Sarah Palin, averaged a 7.5 rating in the metered markets.
In the 25 markets with local people meters, “Saturday Night Live” averaged a 2.7 rating, 14 share in adults 18-49, for a +35% increase on the year-ago debut (2.0). It’s the highest-rated “SNL” season premiere in 18-49 in the local people meters since Sept. 28, 2013 (2.7 with host Tina Fey and musical guest Arcade Fire) and equals the show’s top opener since Sept. 15, 2012 (2.8 with host Seth MacFarlane and musical guest Frank Ocean).