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TV Ratings: 'Saturday Night Live' Holds Steady With Tina Fey's Return

The former head writer opens the season with her third hosting stint, matching the recent finale's ratings and coming just shy of last year's premiere.

Aaron Paul SNL - H 2013
NBC
Aaron Paul on "SNL"

A visit from Tina Fey always has served Saturday Night Live well. The former head writer, who hosted this week for the third time since departing the series, first brought record ratings in 2008 with her famous spin on Sarah Palin.

The show might not have duplicated those numbers, but Fey, joined by musical guest Arcade Fire, brought in an average 4.7 rating in metered-market households for the show's 39th season premiere. That's even with the most recent episode and within an inch of last year's opener, hosted by Seth MacFarlane with musical guest Frank Ocean (4.8 rating).

Among the 25 markets with Local People Meters, SNL averaged a 2.8 rating among adults 18 to 49. That's up from the season finale, its best demo showing since April, and even with last season's premiere.

Fey's last time hosting, in April 2011, brought in a 5.3 rating among households and a 2.8 rating the key demo.