TV Ratings: 'Saturday Night Live' Turns 40, Falls From 2013 Opener

Chris Pratt SNL Sketch - H 2014

Saturday Night Live may have returned in good shape on Saturday night, outrating all other Big Four broadcasts, but it was down from last year's opener.

The NBC sketch show, hosted by Chris Pratt, unleashed a summer's worth of parody with the start of its 40th season, pulling an average 4.0 rating among metered market households and a 2.1 rating among adults 18-49 in the 25 markets with local people meters. That matches the most recent episode (May's Andy Samberg-hosted finale), but falls 22 percent in the key demo from the 2013 premiere — one that brought an especially strong showing, thanks to host Tina Fey.

Final ratings for Saturday Night Live will arrive later in the week. Last year's opener, which marked a three-year premiere best for the NBC series, ultimately earned a 2.4 rating in the key demo and 6.5 million viewers.

In the world of shifting TV consumption, where most network inroads for changing perception come with DVR boosts, Saturday Night Live remains one of the more difficult shows to measure. The weekly flagship regularly tops all late-night television, but its content is increasingly viewed online — sketches broken up piecemeal on NBC's website and on Hulu.