How Kit Harington's Saturday Night Live Episode Did In The Ratings

Kit Harington Pete Davidson as the Night King Saturday Night Live NBC

Game of Thrones' King in the North Kit Harington hosted Saturday Night Live on April 6 -- one week before the premiere of GoT's finale season -- but was he King of the Ratings?

Well ... kinda?

Kit Harington and musical guest Sara Bareilles averaged a 4.4 live-plus-same-day household rating in the 56 local markets metered by Nielsen Media Research, and a 1.7 rating in the 18-49 demographic in the 25 markets with local people meters.

That's a lot of fancy talk that basically boils down to Kit and Sara pulling in more viewers than Sandra Oh and musical guest Tame Impala last week. That week's 1.5 rating tied for a season low in 18-49 and its 4.1 was a near low in households.

The host tends to get a lot of credit or blame for how episodes do in the ratings, but the musical guest can be a big draw (or pass) too. Sarah Bareilles is more well-known than Tame Impala, for example. But there was probably more draw to this past weekend's show because of the Game of Thrones connection.

Fans may have hoped Kit Harington would be joined by fellow Game of Thrones stars, and that did indeed happen. Emilia Clarke (Daenerys Targaryen), John Bradley (Samwell Tarly), and Harington's real-life wife and former co-star Rose Leslie (Ygritte) all "crashed" his monologue with questions from the audience. Plus, Pete Davidson dressed as the Night King.

Later in the night, Law & Order: SVU stars Mariska Hargitay and Ice-T showed up in full Westeros attire for a classic Game of Thrones spoof sketch.

Kit Harington and Sara Bareilles' episode may have improved on the ratings of the previous week, but it wasn't a high for Season 44, or even just the 2019 section.

Here are some comparisons to previous hosts and musical guests, per The Futon Critic:

• Kit Harington and musical guest Sara Bareilles: 4.4/1.7

Sandra Oh and musical guest Tame Impala: 4.1/1.5

Idris Elba and musical guest Khalid: 4.5/1.7

John Mulaney and musical guest Thomas Rhett: 4.7/1.9

Don Cheadle and musical guest Gary Clark Jr.: 4.3/1.6

• Halsey (also musical guest): 4.7/1.9

James McAvoy and musical guest Meek Mill: 4.1/1.7

• Rachel Brosnahan and musical guest Greta Van Fleet: 4.5/1.8

As you can see, the John Mulaney and Halsey episodes tied for the highest of 2019 so far, but they couldn't quite match the Season 44 ratings of the Matt Damon/Miley Cyrus December 15, 2018 episode (4.8/2.0) or the Season 44 premiere with Adam Driver and musical guest Kanye West (4.8/2.3).

All in all, Kit and Sara did well, but not nearly as well as some others earlier this season. However, I'm very curious to see what happens next with the April 13 numbers. Emma Stone is hosting with the hugely popular BTS as musical guests. I wonder how many live fans BTS will draw. We'll find out next week. After that, former SNL cast member Adam Sandler is hosting SNL for the first time, despite previously saying he wouldn't, with Shawn Mendes as musical guest. That episode airs May 4.

Saturday Night Live Season 44 continues Saturday at 11:29 p.m. ET on NBC. Watch clips from past episodes at SNL's YouTube. And keep up with all of the host updates with our handy guide. Game of Thrones Season 8 premieres Sunday, April 14 at 9 p.m. ET on HBO.

Gina Carbone

Gina grew up in Massachusetts and California in her own version of The Parent Trap. She went to three different middle schools, four high schools, and three universities -- including half a year in Perth, Western Australia. She currently lives in a small town in Maine, the kind Stephen King regularly sets terrible things in, so this may be the last you hear from her.