Saturday Live Live has always had ratings success with non-actors as hosts — its two most recent metered-market household ratings highs were set by Charles Barkley (7.0 in 2012) and Donald Trump (6.6) in November. Last night’s show, with UFC star and budding actress Ronda Rousey as emcee, averaged a 5.0 household rating in the metered markets and a 2.5 in 18-49 in the 25 markets with local people meters.
There is a caveat, as SNL aired during the big East Coast snowstorm, so there may be some preemptions for local weather coverage and the Raleigh-Durham market is currently excluded. Still, the show, which also featured Tina Fey reprising her Sarah Palin impersonation and Selena Gomez as musical guest, is expected to stay solid. It is currently running a tenth behind the Fey-Amy Poehler-hosted holiday SNL edition (5.1, 2.6), which was the second best result of the season as well as the past 22 months behind the one headlined by Trump.
The late-night sketch program adds significant viewership via time-shifting, with originals growing by +52% going from L+SD to L+7 in adults 18-49 (1.84 to 2.79) and +2.252 million persons in total viewers (6.236 million to 8.488 million).
In primetime, NBC Sports’ primetime coverage of the U.S. Figure Skating Championships (0.6 in 18-49, 3.7 million viewers overall from 8-11 p.m. ET) is up 0.1 of a point versus NBC Sports’ year-ago coverage in adults 18-49 and up +11% in total viewers (3.695 million vs. 3.334 million).