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Not content with an eight-year record, the Saturday Night Live premiere skyrocketed in initial time-shifting.
This past weekend’s SNL opener, which introduced Alec Baldwin’s parody of Donald Trump, climbed to 11.8 million viewers in live-plus-3 ratings. That makes it as the most watched season premiere in 22 years and the most watched episode since Trump hosted himself last November. (His episode climbed just north of 12 million in live-plus-3.)
Baldwin and host Margot Robbie had the advantage among younger viewers, though. With a 3.6 rating in the key demo of adults 18-49, the episode is the highest-rated since Seth Meyers’ “Weekend Update” farewell in 2014. It’s also the best showing for a season premiere since Tina Fey unveiled her Sarah Palin impersonation during the 2008 election.
In terms of on-demand and DVR growth, the three days following the SNL premiere saw viewership climb by nearly 3.5 million viewers and another 1.2 points in the key demo. The interest and robust tail of SNL‘s premiere bode well for the coming month, when the show will cash in on election interest with an aggressive slate of original episodes.
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