If President Donald Trump tweets about Saturday Night Live‘s terrible ratings, consider it the fakest of news: In reality, the NBC sketch-comedy series is having its most-viewed season in 22 years.
The most recent SNL, in which Melissa McCarthy lampooned White House press secretary Sean Spicer, nabbed a 2.5 rating among adults 18-49, according to TVLine’s sister site, Variety. As such, the late-night laugher ranked behind only CBS’ The Big Bang Theory as the highest rated program in the demo. These numbers are in line with SNL‘s overall Season 42 viewership — its best since Season 20 — which is up 19 percent in the demo and 22 percent in total viewers over last year.
Perhaps to capitalize on the ratings streak, NBC reportedly is thinking about spinning off SNL‘s Weekend Update segment into its own 30-minute, Thursday-night series to launch in the fall. In a sense, the Not Ready for Primetime Players should probably give thanks to the ever-critical POTUS for the ratings boost: Though Trump has been very public with his disdain for frequent SNL guest star Alec Baldwin, Baldwin’s impression of the tycoon-turned-commander-in-chief is a likely audience draw. (Baldwin will host the show for the 17th time this weekend; Ed Sheeran will be the musical guest.)
SNL‘s recent success is likely to irk the ratings-conscious Trump, who used part of his speaking time at February’s National Prayer Breakfast to malign Arnold Schwarzenegger’s stewardship of Celebrity Apprentice, which Trump used to host (and on which he is still credited as an executive producer). Earlier this year, Trump also tweeted that the number of Fox News Channel’s inauguration viewers was “many times higher than FAKE NEWS CNN,” an inaccurate statement to which CNN quickly responded.