via NBC press release:
'SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE' MATCHES ITS HIGHEST SEASON-FINALE OVERNIGHTS IN FOUR YEARS
HOSTED BY WILL FERRELL AND FEATURING MUSICAL GUEST GREEN DAY, 'SNL' EQUALS ITS HIGHEST METERED-MARKET RATING FOR A SEASON CLOSER SINCE MAY 2005
UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif. - May 17, 2009 - "Saturday Night Live" has equaled its highest metered-market household rating for a season finale in four years, according to in-home viewing figures from the 56 local markets metered by Nielsen Media Research.
With a telecast hosted by Will Ferrell and featuring musical guest Green Day, last night's "Saturday Night Live" averaged a 5.4 household rating, 14 share in the metered markets, to match the year-ago "SNL" season finale (5.4/13 on May 17, 2008, hosted by Steve Carell with musical guest Usher and an appearance by Senator John McCain). The last season finale to rate higher was the May 21, 2005 telecast (6.2/15), hosted by Lindsay Lohan with musical guest Coldplay.
"Saturday Night Live" dominated its time period last night with the show's highest metered-market rating since January 10. "SNL" was the #1 telecast of the night, topping all primetime programs on all networks in the metered markets. In fact, it was the highest-rated Saturday program on any network since an NCAA Tournament semi-final college basketball telecast on CBS April 4.
"SNL" is up 20 percent this season versus last in metered-market ratings for original telecasts, with an average 6.1 versus last season's 5.1.
The May 16 telecast of "Saturday Night Live" featured performances from show alums Norm Macdonald, Maya Rudolph and Amy Poehler, and special guest appearances by Tom Hanks, Anne Hathaway and Paul Rudd.
National ratings, viewer totals and demographic results for last night's "Saturday Night Live" are due from Nielsen on Thursday, May 21.