Tom Hanks hosted last Saturday's SNL and gave it its highest October ratings since 2008 (NBC Photo).
NEW YORK, N.Y. – "Saturday Night Live" has delivered new season highs and its most-watched October telecast in eight years, according to “live plus same day” official-national ratings from Nielsen Media Research.
The show’s Oct. 22 edition, with host Tom Hanks and musical guest Lady Gaga, averaged 8.653 million viewers, highest for an October “SNL” since Oct. 25, 2008, when an episode featuring host Jon Hamm and musical guest Coldplay averaged 9.345 million.
The 8.653 million viewers is a jump of +51% or 2.9 million persons over the 5.749 million “SNL” averaged last year with October originals.
In adults 18-49, last weekend’s “Saturday Night Live” averaged a 2.41 rating, 12 share in L+SD, also a new season high and best for an October “SNL” since Oct. 5, 2013 (2.66 with host and musical guest Miley Cyrus). Versus the show’s October 2015 average for originals, the Oct. 8 telecast is up +38% in 18-49 (2.41 vs. 1.75).
Counting all “Saturday Night Live” telecasts, it’s the most-watched edition since Nov. 7, 2015 and highest rated in 18-49 since Nov. 1, 2014.
The show’s prior highs for this season came with the Oct. 1 season premiere, hosted by Margot Robbie and featuring musical guest The Weeknd as well as the first appearance by Alec Baldwin as Donald Trump, which averaged 8.297 million viewers overall and a 2.34 rating, 11 share in adults 18-49 in “live plus same day” Nielsens.
In “live plus seven day” ratings, the Oct. 1 season premiere grew to 12.194 million viewers overall, best for an “SNL” debut in 22 years (since Sept. 24, 1994, 12.201 viewers with host Steve Martin and musical guest Eric Clapton). In 18-49, the season premiere grew to a 3.84 rating in L+7, best for an “SNL” opener in eight years (since Sept. 13, 2008, 4.94 with host Michael Phelps, musical guest Lil Wayne and Tina Fey as Gov. Sarah Palin).
The season’s Week 2 telecast on Oct. 8, with host Lin-Manuel Miranda and musical guest Twenty One Pilots, averaged a 2.11 rating in 18-49 and 7.140 million viewers in L+SD Nielsens, and in Week 3, with host Emily Blunt and musical guest Bruno Mars, the Oct. 15 edition averaged a 1.98 in 18-49 and 7.016 million viewers overall.