via press release:
'SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE' SCORES ITS HIGHEST SEASON-FINALE NIELSENS IN FOUR YEARS
CONCLUDING ITS BIGGEST SEASON OF ORIGINALS IN 11 YEARS ACCORDING TO TOTAL-VIEWER AVERAGES, 'SNL' DELIVERS ITS TOP-RATED FINALE SINCE MAY 2005
HOSTED BY WILL FERRELL AND FEATURING MUSICAL GUEST GREEN DAY, 'SNL' IMPROVES ON THE YEAR-AGO FINALE BY 19 PERCENT IN 18-49 RATING
VERSUS THE PRIOR SEASON, '08-09 'SNL' ORIGINALS ARE UP 31 PERCENT IN 18-49 RATING
UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif. – May 21, 2009 – The May 16 telecast of "Saturday Night Live" has delivered the show's best 18-49 and total-viewer results for a season finale in four years, according to "live plus same day" in-home viewing figures from Nielsen Media Research.
With a telecast hosted by Will Ferrell and featuring musical guest Green Day, the May 16 "Saturday Night Live" averaged a 3.2 rating, 14 share in adults 18-49 and 7.3 million viewers overall. The last season finale to rate higher was the May 21, 2005 telecast (3.7/15 in 18-49, 7.8 million viewers overall), hosted by Lindsay Lohan with musical guest Coldplay.
The strong finale wraps up the biggest season of "Saturday Night Live" originals in five years in adult 18-49 rating and the show's biggest season for originals in total viewers in 11 years. "SNL" first-runs this season have averaged a 3.8 rating in adults 18-49 ("most current") and 9.1 million viewers overall. That's the highest 18-49 rating for "SNL" originals since the 2003-04 season and the biggest total-viewer average since 1997-98.
Versus the prior season, "Saturday Night Live" originals are up 31 percent in 18-49 rating (3.8 vs. 2.9, "most current") and 34 percent in total viewers (9.1 million vs. 6.8 million).
The May 16 "Saturday Night Live" season finale dominated its time period with the show's highest 18-49 and total-viewer results since January 10. "SNL" was the #1 telecast of the night in 18-49 and total viewers, beating all primetime programs on all networks. In fact, "Saturday Night Live's" 3.2 rating in 18-49 topped every Saturday primetime telecast on every network, excluding sports, in more than three years (since January 14, 2006).
Versus the same night last year (2.7/11 in 18-49, 6.5 million viewers overall), the May 16 "SNL" was up 19 percent in 18-49 and 13 percent in total viewers.
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.