The “Saturday Night Live” premiere over the weekend saw a trend of low ratings for the 2019 television season.
The ratings were down from the season 44 premiere in 2018, according to a report published Sunday by The Hollywood Reporter. The show received a 1.6 rating among adults 18-49 this season compared to a 2.3 rating from season 44. The ratings decreased 30% in one of the most important categories in television.
The premiere, however, had higher ratings than season 44’s finale. The last episode of the 2018-19 season drew a 1.5 rating among adults 18-49.
The preliminary numbers show 2.22 million viewers. More complete ratings for “SNL” will be available Tuesday. (RELATED: Comedian Bill Burr Criticizes ‘Saturday Night Live’ Decision To Fire Shane Gillis Over Racist Comments)
The show premiered with more political content. Saturday night’s episode opened with a sketch featuring Alec Baldwin as President Donald Trump. The segment showed Baldwin asking for advice on impeachment. The Trump impeachment sketch was followed by a fake Democratic debate starring Woody Harrelson as Joe Biden, Maya Rudolph as Sen. Kamala Harris and Larry David as Bernie Sanders.
“SNL” was hosted by Harrelson and featured musical guest Billie Eilish. The premiere marked the first time 17-year-old Eilish had ever performed on the late night comedy show. She sang her hit single “Bad Guy” and followed with her new ballad “I Love You.”