‘Saturday Night Live’ Season 46 Kickoff Scores Highest Ratings For Debut In Four Years

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Katie Jerkovich Entertainment Reporter
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The premiere of Saturday Night Live’s 46th season scored the highest rating for a debut “SNL” episode in four years.

The Chris-Rock-hosted “SNL,” with a return to the studio, brought in 8.24 million viewers and landed a 1.8 rating in the highly coveted demographic of ages 18-49, winning the night for all Nielsen-rated television in both primetime and late night, according to The Hollywood Reporter in a piece published Tuesday. (RELATED: Ratings Drop 16 Percent From Last Year For Opening Game Of The NFL Season)

The show’s premiere, which typically does experience what is called an election bump, scored its largest audience for a debut since 2016 when 8.3 million viewers watched the first show of that season. The latest episode of the NBC late-night sketch comedy show also had its second highest premiere since 2008. (RELATED: ‘Saturday Night Live’ From Home Scores Second-Highest Ratings This Season)

To put those numbers into further context, the total audience that tuned in for the show beat out all the numbers for season 45, with the one exception of the Eddie-Murphy-hosted return to “SNL” in December 2019, which had 9.921 million viewers and scored a 2.5 rating among ages 18-49, according to Deadline.

Over on ABC, the NBA Finals had just 5.94 million viewers tune in for the broadcast. Game 3 of the finals also saw its lowest number in total viewership since the games started being recorded in the early 1990s, according to the outlet.

And the Sunday Night Football game on NBC ended up getting it’s smallest audience in almost a year, with 15.08 million viewers and a 4.5 score in the demographic of adults ages 18-49.