Big numbers for Palin on SNL


Tina Fey’s faux Sarah Palin had been a big audience draw for “Saturday Night Live,” so it’s hardly surprising that an appearance by the real GOP vice presidential candidate gave NBC its biggest audience for the show in 14 years. SNL’s ratings are currently running 76% ahead of last season, so Lorne Michaels has to be wishing the November 4th election could somehow be delayed for a while.

SNL made its season debut two weeks early this year precisely because of interest in the upcoming election. And the network is milking it for all it is worth. NBC will air "Saturday Night Live Weekend Update Thursday" this Thursday at 9:30 pm ET and "Saturday Night Live Presidential Bash 2008," which will feature vintage and new material showcasing "SNL’s" presidential satire, from 9-11 pm Monday, Nov. 3, the night before the election.

Last night’s telecast, hosted by Josh Brolin and featuring musical guest Adele, averaged a 10.7 rating, 24 share in the 56 local markets metered by Nielsen Media Research. "Saturday Night Live" towered over all late-night and primetime programs last night with the show’s highest average in metered-market households since the telecast of March 12, 1994 (hosted by Nancy Kerrigan with musical guest Aretha Franklin).

Saturday’s (10/18) edition of "Saturday Night Live" featured Palin appearing as herself in the opening sketch alongside executive producer Lorne Michaels, surprise guests Alec Baldwin and Mark Wahlberg, as well as Palin’s "SNL" doppelganger, Tina Fey. Palin also appeared during the "Weekend Update" segment. Oliver Stone, director of the current theatrical release "W," made a cameo appearance during the monologue of host Brolin, who stars in "W."

Versus SNL’s average for originals last October (4.1/10), the telecast is up 161%. Versus the most recent original this season (7.3/18 on October 4), the October 18 edition is up 47%.

For its five originals so far this season, SNL is averaging a 7.4/18 in metered-market households. That’s up 76% versus the 4.2/10 "SNL" was averaging at this point last year with its three originals.