“Saturday Night Live” has scored its highest national 18-49 and total-viewer results in a year and a half, since the pre-election telecast of November 2008, according to “live plus same day” national viewing figures from Nielsen Media Research.
With a telecast hosted by Betty White and featuring musical guest Jay-Z, the May 8 edition of “Saturday Night Live” averaged a 4.6 rating, 18 share in adults 18-49 and 12.1 million viewers overall, highest for the series since November 1, 2008 (5.2/19 in 18-49 and 13.0 million viewers overall for a telecast hosted by Ben Affleck with musical guest David Cook and appearances by Republican Presidential nominee Senator John McCain and Tina Fey as Governor Sarah Palin just prior to the 2008 election).
Excluding that November 1, 2008 telecast and the October 18, 2008 edition (hosted by Josh Brolin and featuring musical guest Adele and an appearance by Vice Presidential candidate Governor Sarah Palin, 5.5/20 in 18-49, 15.0 million viewers overall), this is the top-rated “Saturday Night Live” in 18-49 since January 10, 2004 (Jennifer Aniston, Black Eyed Peas, 4.6) and biggest in total viewers since September 24, 1994 (season premiere, Steve Martin, Eric Clapton, 12.2 million).
The 4.6 rating in 18-49 puts “Saturday Night Live” into a tie for the #4 telecast of the week of May 3-9, behind only Fox’s two “American Idol” editions and “Glee,” and tied with CBS’s “Big Bang Theory.” In total viewers, “Saturday Night Live” is the #11 program of the week.
It was also a big week for “Saturday Night Live” online. On Sunday, May 9, “SNL” set a series record for full episode streams in a single day on NBC.com, generating 728,000 full episode streams through the course of that day.
“Saturday Night Live” was the top-rated telecast on Saturday night, topping all primetime programs on all major networks. In adults 18-49, “SNL” more than doubled the #1 telecast on the major networks in primetime, Fox’s coverage of NASCAR Racing from Darlington, S.C. (2.2). In total viewers, “SNL” topped the #1 primetime telecast, the race on Fox (7.0 million), by a margin of 73 percent.
Versus the same night last year, “Saturday Night Live” is up 53 percent in adults 18-49 (4.6 vs. 3.0) and 67 percent in total viewers (12.1 million vs. 7.2 million).
The May 8 telecast of “Saturday Night Live” featured a salute to Mother’s Day with performances by show alums Rachel Dratch, Tina Fey, Ana Gasteyer, Amy Poehler, Maya Rudolph and Molly Shannon.