SNL Delivers Its Biggest Overnight Ratings For A Season Finale In Three Years

The May 17 edition of "Saturday Night Live" has scored the highest metered-market ratings for an "SNL" season finale in three years, according to in-home viewing figures in the 56 local markets metered by Nielsen Media Research.
Last night's telecast of "Saturday Night Live," hosted by Steve Carell with musical guest Usher and featuring an appearance by Presidential candidate Sen. John McCain, averaged a 5.4 rating, 13 share in metered-market households. That dominated the time period with the highest overnight rating for an "SNL" season finale since 2005 (6.2/15 on May 21, 2005 with host Lindsay Lohan and musical guest Coldplay). Versus the 2007 finale (4.9/12 on May 19, 2007), last night's telecast is up 10 percent.

The 5.4 rating is "SNL's" highest metered-market result since March 1 and the show's third-highest overnight average of the season.

Last night's "SNL" scored the #1 rating of the night in the metered markets, topping all primetime telecasts on all networks. In fact, it was the highest-rated Saturday program on any network since an NCAA Tournament semi-final college basketball telecast on CBS April 5. This week's edition of "Saturday Night Live" improved on the show's average for originals prior to the WGA strike by 20 percent (5.4/13 vs. 4.5/11).