‘Saturday Night Live’ Season 45 Premiere Ratings Down From Last Fall’s Opener, On Par With Finale

Saturday Night Live‘s 45th season premiere, hosted by Woody Harrelson with musical guest Billie Eilish, drew a 4.1 Live+Same Day household rating in the markets metered and a 1.6 adults 18-49 rating in the 25 markets with local people meters.

The show, which featured Larry David as Bernie Sanders, Maya Rudolph as Kamala Harris, Alec Baldwin as Donald Trump and Liev Schreiber as himself, was down from last fall’s highly-rated opener hosted by Adam Driver with musical guest Kanye West and Matt Damon as Brett Kavanaugh (4.8, 2.3), which aired at the height of the Kavanaugh’s SCOTUS hearing.

Last night’s SNL season debut, which matched the HH rating for the May Season 44 finale and was up a tenth in 18-49, also followed a big political news story, the decision to open impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump, which dominated the SNL premiere with three skits, including the cold open, and the opening segment of Weekend Update.

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The year-to-year declines in SNL’s overnight ratings are consistent with the across-the-board drops we have seen this Premiere Week as HUT levels are down -7% in viewers and -12% in 18-49 vs. fall 2018. SNL is especially prone to delayed/multi-platform viewing, with +142% L+35+Digital increases last season in 18-49.

Less than 12 hours after clips from last night’s premiere were posted online, they have already amassed 4 million total views on YouTube alone, which are monetized by NBC as the videos run with ads.

Also underlying how much Live+Same Day levels have slipped for the broadcast networks, even with the year-to-year declines for SNL, the opener is tied for #6 in adults 18-49 in the local people meters among all entertainment telecasts on the Big 4 during Premiere Week, behind The Masked Singer (3.1), This Is Us (2.2), 9-1-1 (1.9), Monday’s The Voice (1.7) and Grey’s Anatomy (1.7).

Here is one of the most watched SNL premiere clips online, Eilish’s Bad Guy performance, which currently is the third most viewed SNL video behind two of the impeachment skits.


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