If Saturday’s premiere was any indication, viewers will be paying closer attention to NBC’s Saturday Night Live before the coming presidential election. The season opener hit an eight-year high among households.
SNL averaged a very strong 5.8 overnight rating among Nielsen Media’s metered market households, a solid 29 percent jump from the 2015 opener. The episode suffered no shortage of buzz with news coming mid-week that Alec Baldwin had signed on to recur as GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump in the run-up to November’s election.
Incidentally, SNL‘s last season premiere to approach that high was ahead of the 2008 presidential election. That’s when SNL alum (and Baldwin’s 30 Rock co-star) Tina Fey began her now-famous parodying of Sarah Palin. (That episode, for the record, pulled a considerably higher 7.8 rating.)
The episode also was up even more among younger viewers. Compared to last year, the premiere rose 35 percent to a 2.7 rating among adults 18-49. That stat also ties it with 2008.