Ratings: SNL Hits 6-Year Audience High, Up 60% From a Year Ago

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This weekend’s edition of Saturday Night Live, with 17-time host Alec Baldwin and returning scene-stealer Melissa McCarthy, scored its largest audience — 1.84 million total viewers — since Jan. 8, 2011, when host Jim Carrey and musical guest The Black Keys delivered 11.5 mil on the night of an NFL overrun.

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Factoring out any such NFL-boosted outings, you’d have to go back to May 8, 2010 (when host Betty White/musical guest Jay-Z played to 12.1 million viewers) to find a bigger audience.

Compared to the long-running sketch series’ February 2016 average with originals, this week’s audience represents a 60 percent surge.

In the demo, SNL scored a 3.1, its No. 2 outing of the season (trailing Dave Chappelle/A Tribe Called Quest) and broadcast TV’s second-highest rated entertainment program of the week (behind Sunday’s Grammys).

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Perhaps to capitalize on Season 42’s 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.

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