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‘SNL’ Delivers Most Watched Series Finale in Six Years with Host Dwayne Johnson and Katy Perry

May 23, 2017

Dwayne Johnson hosted the season finale of "Saturday Night Live" last Saturday, which made it the most watched series finale in six years (photo by NBC).

 

NEW YORK – “Saturday Night Live” has outrated every primetime telecast on the broadcast networks so far this week in adults 18-49, while delivering the show’s most-watched season finale in six years.

 

The May 20 edition of "Saturday Night Live," with host Dwayne Johnson and musical guest Katy Perry, averaged 8.272 million viewers overall and a 2.32 rating in adults 18-49 in “fast official” “live plus same day” results from Nielsen Media Research.

 

The telecast, which aired live coast to coast (11:30 p.m. ET, 8:30 p.m. PT) and counted unduplicated viewers from 11:30 encores in western markets, ranks as the #1 telecast so far this week on the broadcast networks in adult 18-49 rating, outrating the week’s current #2 show, Fox’s “Empire” (2.17) by a +7% margin.

 

The 8.272 million is “Saturday’s Night Live’s” biggest overall audience for a season finale since May 21, 2011 (with host Justin Timberlake and musical guest Lady Gaga, 9.818 million). In 18-49, it’s the top-rated “SNL” season-closer since May 18, 2013 (with host Ben Affleck and musical guest Kanye West, 2.37).

 

Versus “Saturday Night Live’s” average with originals for the month of May last year, this week’s telecast is up +45% in adults 18-49 (with a 2.32 rating vs. a 1.60) and +3.0 million persons or +58% in total viewers (8.272 million vs. 5.233 million for the month of May 2016).

 

Note that “SNL” adds significant viewership via time-shifting, with the 19 originals so far this season growing by +60% in 18-49 and +3.385 million persons or +45% in total viewers going from “live plus same day” Nielsens to “live plus seven day” figures. In L+SD, “SNL” this season has averaged a 2.17 rating in 18-49 and 7.495 million viewers overall, and in L+7, “SNL” grew to a 3.48 in 18-49 and 10.880 million viewers.

 

Versus the same point last season, “SNL” originals are up +27% in 18-49 (3.48 vs. 2.75) and +2.614 million persons or +32% in total viewers (10.880 million vs. 8.266 million).

 

The average 10.880 million viewers in L+7 makes this the show’s most-watched season at this point in 23 years (versus prior seasons’ original telecasts through comparable dates), best since 1993-94 (11.201 million for that season’s first 20 originals).

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