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Saturday Night Live was not immune to the overall ratings declines in the first week of the 2019-20 TV season.
The NBC late-night staple posted smaller preliminary ratings for its 45th season premiere than it did in 2018.
The premiere, hosted by Woody Harrelson and featuring Billie Eilish as musical guest, drew a 4.1 household rating in overnight metered markets and a 1.6 among adults 18-49. That’s down about 15 percent in households and 30 percent in adults 18-49 vs. last season’s opener (4.8 and 2.3).
Saturday’s show is also slightly below the preliminary averages for the show in season 44 (4.4 in households, 1.7 in adults 18-49). SNL averaged a 1.5 rating in adults 18-49 and 6.33 million viewers in same-day ratings last year, rising to a 2.3 and 8.88 million with a week of delayed viewing. (An additional four weeks of multiplatform viewing pushed the 18-49 rating to a 3.5.)
The show did come in slightly ahead of last season’s finale in the 18-49 demographic (1.5), while matching the household rating. More complete ratings for the show will be available Tuesday.
The season premiere leaned heavily on politics, with a cold open sketch featuring Alec Baldwin’s Donald Trump calling around for advice on impeachment and an extended sketch of a Democratic presidential forum, with Harrelson playing Joe Biden, Larry David reprising his Bernie Sanders impression and former SNL regular Maya Rudolph as California Sen. Kamala Harris.
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