September 17, 2012 11:53am PT by Michael O'Connell
'Saturday Night Live' Gets Steady Ratings Return With Seth MacFarlane
Saturday Night Live returned in good shape this weekend, despite the exits of high-profile cast members Kristen Wiig and Andy Samberg.
Final tallies won't be available until Nielsen issues national numbers on Thursday, but ratings for the 38th season opener have it on par with last year, improving among adults 18-49 in markets with Local People Meters.
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The Seth MacFarlane-hosted episode pulled a 4.8 households rating and 12 share, just shy of 2011's 5.1 rating/13 share that ran a week later after a week that saw more primetime premieres.
In markets reporting adults 18-49, the show is up a tenth of a point for a 2.8 rating in the demo.
Though on par with the previous premiere, they are outmatched by last season's biggest episodes -- Charles Barkley (7.4 HH rating) and Lindsay Lohan (5.5 HH rating) -- which gave the show its strongest overnight showings in a year.
Saturday Night Live doubles up this week, with the first of two election-themed Saturday Night Live Weekend Update Thursday airing Sept. 20.