'Saturday Night Live' Hits Season High Ratings With Bruno Mars

Bruno Mars SNL Promo - H 2012

Saturday Night Live pulled its best numbers of the season last night during an episode hosted by Bruno Mars.

Overnight returns for Mars' turn as host and musical guest give the broadcast its strongest showing in seven months, pulling a 5.4 rating and 14 share in metered market households. The easy win for NBC was also its highest ratings for an episode of Saturday Night Live since Lindsay Lohan hosted in March. (The record for the last year still belongs to Charles Barkley's January episode, which pulled a 7.4 overnight rating.)

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Among the 25 markets reporting Local People Meters, Saturday Night Live also pulled a 2.9 rating and 13 share with adults 18-49. Saturday Night Live returned in September with a 2.8 adults rating -- and 4.8 households rating and 12 share.

The boost can likely be attributed, at least in some part, to interest in the presidential election. The episode opened with a spoof of this week's debate between President Obama and Mitt Romney. Still, Saturday Night Live is a long way off from its ratings during the last presidential election. Sarah Palin made a cameo during the comparable episode (Oct. 18, 2008) ahead of the last vote, appearing alongside her celebrated impersonator Tina Fey and bringing in a 10.7 overnight rating with households -- a 14-year high for the show.

Saturday Night Live announced yesterday that comedian Louis C.K. will join the series as host for the first time, after writing the "Saturday TV Fun House" segment for years and a 1995 cameo as "Escaped Prisoner." He'll appear on the Nov. 3 episode alongside musical guest Fun.