Saturday Night Live‘s 44th season premiere, hosted by Adam Driver with musical guest Kanye West, drew a 4.8 rLive+Same Day household rating in the markets metered and a 2.3 adults 18-49 rating in the 25 markets with local people meters.
The show, which featured Matt Damon as Brett Kavanaugh, was up from last fall’s opener hosted by Ryan Gosling with musical guest Jay-Z and Alec Baldwin as Donald Trump (4.5, 2.1) by 7% in households and 10% in the demo. Last night’s episode, which took on the big news story of the week, Kavanaugh’s emotionally charged SCOTUS hearing, also was up from last season’s finale and every other episode last season except for the Jan. 27 show, hosted by Will Ferrell and featuring musical guest Chris Stapleton, which posted a 4.9 in households. (In 18-49, last night’s SNL was the highest rated since the May 2017 season finale.)
The Sept. 29 edition, which aired live coast to coast and counted unduplicated viewers from 11:30 PM encores in western markets, generated SNL’s second biggest metered-market household rating for a season debut since 2012, trailing only the 2016 premiere, hosted by Margot Robbie and featuring musical guest The Weeknd, which aired at the height of the Presidential campaign and marked Baldwin’s debut as Trump.
Excluding election years, this is the highest SNL season premiere since the Sept. 24, 2011 opener with host Alec Baldwin and musical guest Radiohead (5.1).