The final ratings for season 46 of Saturday Night Live are in, and the venerable late night sketch program was numbered in the demo for adults between 18 and 49. The show achieved an average rating of 2.06 at 18-49 and a total of 9.0 million viewers in Live + 7 numbers.
For the second year in a row, SNL also became # 1 comedy on ad-supported television in the demo. It ranked # 2 in total viewers after being at the top for most of the season.
The top placements come even though SNL ended the season with lows in the last few episodes. The strong seasonal averages are largely due to a glowing fall run before and immediately after the November presidential election. It was the first time that SNL had broadcast originals for six weeks in a row – from October 3 to November 7. The run was bookmarked from the season premiere on October 3, hosted by Chris Rock, and the post-election television show on November 7. hosted by Dave Chappelle, who will be one of the two highest rated episodes of the SNL season for years 18-49.
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The show received a late rating boost with the May 8th edition, hosted by Elon Musk, which became the third highest episode of the season in the demo behind episodes Chappelle (# 1) and Rock (# 2).
“SNL is one of the most culturally significant shows in television history, and number 1 in its 46th season is testament to how that relevance has grown over the past five decades,” said Susan Rovner, chairman, entertainment content, NBCUniversal Television and streaming. “One of the greatest gifts of this role is being able to watch the ‘SNL’ team do what they do each week while the show stays as strong and vibrant as ever.”
SNL generated # 1 with the most YouTube video views (1.6 billion) of any late night show on all television. It has also gained the number 1 most new fans / followers / subscribers (2.7 million) on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube of all late night shows across television.
“Congratulations to Lorne Michaels and the entire cast and crew for this milestone. What makes it even more notable is that it was carried out amid quarantines and strict protocols during a pandemic. It required an excellent mix of brilliant, creative entertainment and technological talent, ”said Katie Hockmeyer, EVP, Late Night Programming, NBCUniversal Television and Streaming.