Big Ratings For NBC's 'SNL', NFL Wild Card Games. Will That Help 'The Cape' Premiere?

Yesterday was a big day for NBC ratings-wise. The first original Saturday Night Live of the year, hosted by Jim Carrey, drew a 7.8 rating/18 share in the metered-market households, a season high for the veteran late-night sketch show and the highest rating since the big Betty White/Jay-Z episode on May 8. I personally felt Carrey’s physical comedy talents could have been put to better use with stronger material, though he made the most of what he was given with engaging performances. Below is the show’s opening skit, a Black Swan send-up. On the East Coast, SNL was delayed 15 minutes by the overrun of the Jets-Colts NBC Wild Card playoff game (20.8 overnight rating/33 share), which posted the best primetime Wild Card rating ever (The NFL became airing Wild Card games in primetime in 2002). Overall, it was the highest-rated Wild Card Saturday game in 11 years. Meanwhile, the Seattle Seahawks victory over the New Orleans Saints earlier in the day (18.3/33) logged the best Wild Card Game 1 overnight rating in 20 years. And the two-game average was the best in 16 years. One amusing detail. While Carrey opened his SNL monologue with “How ’bout those Jets, New York?,” New Yorkers actually didn’t watch the game that much. While New Orleans and Seattle were the top 2 markets for the Saints-Seahawks game and Indianapolis was the top market for the Jets-Colts game, New York, which has the largest potential audience in the country, was only ranked 20th for the game.

The football games and SNL all featured promos for tonight’s two-hour premiere of NBC’s first midseason series, The Cape. With such a big viewer turnout yesterday, the new drama got pretty good last-minute promotion. Will that translate into big opening numbers tonight?

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