After weeks of hearing about Donald Trump and his upcoming Saturday Night Live stint, last night the big event happened. Despite protests, Donald Trump hosted his second SNL episode on November 8. It was an episode that also featured Drunk Uncle, Larry David as Bernie Sanders and a brand new “porn stars” commercial. As it turns out, a lot of people tuned in to watch the action unfold. Early reports indicate that the show did a 6.6 rating on Saturday night, becoming the most watched episode since Charles Barkley showed up back in 2012. (Oddly, that episode also featured Drunk Uncle.)
A 6.6 rating is a huge number even for a late night show that has less programming to compete with. NBC reported this morning that in addition to the high overall numbers, a lot of young people actually tuned in. The numbers show that in the coveted 18-49 advertising demographic, Saturday Night Live managed a 2.7 rating, which is a higher rating than a big hit like Scandal gets each week. Because these are the early ratings, we don’t know exactly how many millions of viewers tuned in for the episode, but we do know that the show was up 47% from the season premiere in the ratings starring Miley Cyrus and that episode drew 6.7 million total viewers. So look for numbers upwards to 10 million or even higher.
Saturday Night Live doesn’t hit the schedule until 11:30 Eastern in the United States, which means a ton of people also DVR the series to watch later or watch it via other platforms. Thus, the Live+3 day numbers and the Live+7 days numbers should also show vast improvements compared to previous weeks on the show.
Donald Trump’s always a bit of a spectacle, and after people protested his appearance on the long-running NBC sketch series, he actually was open about stating that he knows how to bring ratings. NBC has seen the man draw in viewers on both The Celebrity Apprentice and The Apprentice, and it’s no surprise he thought he could bring in big numbers last night, as well. Here’s what he had to say when asked if another host would have been a better fit in a recent interview.
If they want to do the show with one-third the ratings, they might do that. I don’t see that at all.
Obviously, the bet paid off for NBC, although it will probably be the last time a Presidential hopeful hosts an episode of SNL… at least for a while. If you’d like to see what all of the hullabaloo is about, you can catch the full episode or additional clips over at NBC’s site.