SNL 2016: Strongest Oening in 8 Years–Baldwin as Trump

The 42nd season of SNL opened strong this weekend, largely due to the timely political sketches, taking advantage of the Clinton-Trump presidential showdown, which continues to heat up.

SNL scored its biggest premiere ratings in 8 years, according to live-plus same day viewing figures from the 56 local markets metered by Nielsen. It averaged a strong overnight rating of 5.8, and jumped 29% from its season opener a year ago.

Younger Viewers

The premiere, hosted by “Suicide Squad” star Margot Robbie with musical guest the Weeknd, also pulled in young viewers, averaging a 2.7 rating, 14 share in adults 18-49, a 35% increase on its premiere a year ago.

It’s the highest-rated premiere for the show in the 18-49 demo in local people meters since September 13, 2013.

It’s the strongest premiere since 2008, also an election year. That season premiere, hosted by Michael Phelps with Lil Wayne as musical guest, averaged a 7.5 rating in metered markets, and also featured an appearance by Tina Fey as Gov. Sarah Palin.

The 42nd premiere generated strong buzz. Along with parody of the highly rated presidential debate (last Monday), it benefited from the return of Alec Baldwin, as Donald Trump, alongside Kate McKinnon’s Hillary Clinton. Larry David also returned to reprise his Bernie Sanders impression.

The October 8 episode of “SNL” will be hosted by “Hamilton” star Lin-Manuel Mirand, with Twenty One Pilots serving as musical guest.