Miley Cyrus‘ Saturday Night Live appearance as host and music act last weekend attracted a crowd of 6.7 million and a 2.7 rating in the demo. Those are good numbers — just not the stats you might have expected based on the media, and social media, hyperventilation about her double-threat SNL appearance. It’s the NBC late-night show’s biggest crowd since March 9 — about seven months ago. On that date, Justin Timberlake had also played host and music act, and clocked a noticeably bigger 8.4 million viewers and a 3.4 rating — and did it without having just swung around nude on a wrecking ball, licked hammers, and twerked the stripes off of Robin Thicke at the VMAs, as had Miley.
Cyrus was handicapped by a 27-minute SNL start-time delay, caused by a college football overrun. Twenty-seven minutes is an eternity in late-night, when a show’s biggest competition is Going To Sleep. Despite this super-late start, Miley’s SNL episode scored the show’s top 18-49 rating for a fourth-quarter telecast since December 11, 2010, when Paul Rudd hosted and Paul McCartney performed. Their SNL broadcast did better than Miley’s in the demo, logging a 2.7 rating — and here, too, like Timberlake, the men did it without stripping, licking, or twerking.
Boilerplate “SNL was the night’s No. 1 telecast in 18-49, topping all primetime programming on all networks” sentence goes here.