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‘SNL’ Hits 6-Year Ratings High With Melissa McCarthy, Alec Baldwin

Variety logo Variety 2/12/2017 Cynthia Littleton
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Saturday Night Live” notched its highest rating in six years thanks to the return of Melissa McCarthy as White House press secretary Sean Spicer and Alec Baldwin’s record 17th outing as host.

NBC’s late-night mainstay grabbed a 7.2 household rating and 18 share in Nielsen’s 56 overnight metered markets, which cover about 70% of U.S. TV households. That marked the show’s highest mark in the overnights since the Jan. 8, 2011, edition hosted by Jim Carrey, which was boosted to a 7.8 household rating in part by an NFL overrun.

In adults 18-49, Saturday’s “SNL” scored a 3.6 rating — strong enough to beat the overnight demo scores of all primetime programs last week (that stat may change when delayed viewing is factored in).

The latest numbers, which will grow with delayed viewing factored in, will bolster “SNL’s” already strong performance in the Trump era. Viewership of the show for the season to date is up 22% in total viewers (10.6 million) and 19% in adults 18-49 (3.5) compared to the same period last season. That makes it the most-watched “SNL” season in 22 years, since the 1994-95 frame.

President Trump continues to provide a wealth of material for the “SNL” team. McCarthy’s second time out as Spicer generated a tidal wave of social media buzz. “SNL” trouper Kate McKinnon was the night’s MVP, appearing as Presidential advisor Kellyanne Conway, Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Democratic senator Elizabeth Warren, all in Trump-related sketches.

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