A return of Saturday Night Live‘s most popular former cast members as hosts usually drive strong ratings, and last night was no exception.
The Nov. 23 edition of Saturday Night Live, with alum Will Ferrell in his fifth turn as host and musical guest King Princess, delivered a 4.3 Live+Same Day household rating in the 44 local metered markets and a 2.0 adults 18-49 rating in the 25 markets with local people meters. That was up from last week’s episode, which had Harry Styles as host and musical guest (3.9, 1.6).
Last time Ferrell hosted SNL in January 2018, he lifted the venerable program to season high ratings. He likely did it again but we won’t be able to tell for sure. That is because Nielsen changed its methodology in the beginning of October, between the season premiere and Episode 2 of SNL‘s current 45th season. Since then, last night’s show ranks #1 in both metered-market households and in 18-49 in the local people meters.
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Versus primetime programming on the Big 4 networks Saturday night, SNL was the #1 show of the night in metered-market households and in 18-49 in the local people meters.
SNL adds significant viewership via time-shifting. To date, the Sept. 28 season premiere has increased by +180% in 18-49 rating with digital and linear delayed viewing, and by +5.7 million persons in total viewers.
Additionally, SNL gets very strong online viewing of its individual segments. While not a strong Live+Same Day linear performer, last week’s episode hosted by Styles posted the show’s best weekend online viewing in more than a year, since the Season 44 premiere in September 2018, amassing more than 18.4 million YouTube views in the Saturday-Monday window. The episode’s Cold Open and Weekend Update outperformed their season averages by wide margins, Harry Style’s “Watermelon Sugar” debut earned more than 1 million views, second highest of any SNL musical performance this season, Harry’s Monologue was the most-viewed of the season and three original sketches / videos topped the 1 million views mark – the most for any one episode this season.
Besides the Presidential Debate and the Cold Open, here are the most watched SNL videos from last night’s episode on YouTube as of Sunday morning, Ferrell’s Monologue, featuring Ryan Reynolds, and the opening segment of Weekend Update:
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