Ratings: SNL Premiere Hits 8-Year High

Matt Webb Mitovich

The anticipation of its take on the presidential election’s summertime insanity — and Suicide Squad standout Margot Robbie as host surely didn’t hurt! — led NBC’s Saturday Night Live to its biggest audiencefor a season opener in eight years (since Sept. 13, 2008, when Michael Phelps hosted with special guest Tina Fey as Sarah Palin).

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Specifically, this weekend’s SNL Season 42 premiere averaged 8.3 million total viewers, up 31 percent from last year’s Miley Cyrus-fronted opener.

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In the 18-49 demo, SNL scored a 2.3, up 29 percent from last year and marking the highest rated premiere since Sept. 28, 2013 (with host Tina Fey and musical guest Arcade Fire).

The debut of Alec Baldwin’s Donald Trump impression, in the cold open’s debate sketch, averaged a grade of “A-” from TVLine readers, while the episode as a whole averaged a “B-.” Lin-Manuel Miranda hosts next weekend’s edition, with musical guest Twenty One Pilots.

One other Saturday ratings note: ABC’s broadcast of the Louisville Cardinals/Clemson Tigers gridiron match-up earned a 6.0 overnight rating, the highest for any Saturday college football game of the season and the second-highest overnight overall, trailing only Note Dame vs. Texas on Sunday, Sept. 4.

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