TV Ratings: 'SNL' Returns to 8-Year Premiere High With Baldwin as Trump

Alec Baldwin, Kate McKinnon on SNL - Publicity - H 2016
Will Heath/NBC

Alec Baldwin offers his first skewering of Donald Trump, as Margot Robbie hosts the season opener.

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.