UPDATED, 12:40 PM: The Live+same day numbers for the Season 43 premiere of NBC’s Saturday Night Live were adjusted slightly up in the finals to 7.099 million viewers overall and a 1.95 rating in adults 18-49. That was still down from last fall’s big debut but qualifies as SNL‘s most-watched season opener in nine years, not seven per the fast nationals released on Sunday.
PREVIOUS October 1: Coming off its most watched season in 23 years and big wins at the Primetime Emmy Awards, NBC’s Saturday Night Live opened its 43rd season with 7.020 million viewers overall and a 1.91 rating in adults 18-49 (Live+ same day).
Hosted by Ryan Gosling with musical guest Jay-Z and Alec Baldwin reprising his Emmy-winning Donald Trump impersonation, SNL was down a bit from the monster 2016-2017 season premiere, which, airing at 11:30 PM on both coasts, coincided with the final stage of the Presidential campaign. Last night’s episode aired live across the country and counted unduplicated viewers from 11:30 encores in western markets.
Last fall’s premiere, hosted by Margot Robbie and featuring musical guest The Weeknd, as well as the first appearance of Baldwin as Trump, drew 8.297 million viewers overall and a 2.34 rating in 18-49.
Last night’s Season 43 SNL premiere also was below the final episodes of last season, (8.272 million, 2.32 18-49 rating for the finale hosted by Dwayne Johnson; 10.337 million, 2.74 in 18-49 for the penultimate episode hosted by Emmy winner Melissa McCarthy). Still, its viewership was the second largest for a season premiere (behind last year’s show) since Sept. 25, 2010, when the telecast was hosted by Amy Poehler and featured musical guest Katy Perry.
Season 42 of SNL averaged 10.880 million viewers in Live+7, making it the show’s most-watched season in 23 years, and a 3.48 adults 18-49 L+7 rating, the highest in seven years. At the Emmys last month, SNL earned 9 awards — the most for any program this year — including Variety Sketch Series.