via press release:
UPDATE: 'SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE' SCORES ITS TOP FINALE RESULTS IN SIX YEARS IN 18-49 AND BIGGEST IN 15 YEARS IN TOTAL VIEWERS
HOSTED BY JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE WITH MUSICAL GUEST LADY GAGA, ‘SNL’ GROWS BY 28 PERCENT VS. THE YEAR-AGO FINALE IN 18-49 AND 29 PERCENT IN TOTAL VIEWERS
IN TOTAL VIEWERS, ‘SNL’ HAS NOW TOPPED THE PRIOR YEAR’S FINALE FOR THE LAST FOUR YEARS IN A ROW
THE MAY 7 ‘SNL,’ HOSTED BY TINA FEY WITH MUSICAL GUEST ELLIE GOULDING, REPORTS A 35 PERCENT INCREASE FROM ‘LIVE PLUS SAME DAY’ RATINGS TO ‘LIVE PLUS SEVEN,’ BIGGEST ‘SNL’ JUMP THIS SEASON
UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif. – May 26, 2011 – The 36th season finale of “Saturday Night Live” has scored the highest adult 18-49 rating for an “SNL” season-closer in six years and generated the biggest overall audience for a season-ender in 15 years, according to “live plus same day” ratings results from Nielsen Media Research.
Last Saturday’s telecast, hosted by Justin Timberlake and featuring musical guest Lady Gaga, generated a 28 percent increase over last year’s season finale in 18-49 and a 29 percent jump in total viewers, marking the fourth year in a row in total viewers that “SNL” has topped the season finale of the prior year.
The May 21 edition of “Saturday Night Live” averaged a 3.7 rating, 14 share in metered-market household averages, highest for an “SNL” season finale since May 21, 2005, when a telecast hosted by Lindsay Lohan also averaged a 3.7. The last time an “SNL” season-ender scored higher than a 3.7 was on May 14, 2004, when an edition hosted by the Olsen Twins with musical guest J-Kwon earned a 4.2 in 18-49. The year-ago finale scored a 2.9 in 18-49.
In total viewers, last weekend’s finale averaged 9.8 million persons, the highest for a “Saturday Night Live” season-closer since May 18, 1996, when a telecast hosted by Jim Carrey with musical guest Soundgarden averaged 10.0 million. The year-ago finale averaged 7.6 million viewers overall, in 2009, the average was 7.3 million, in ’08 it was 6.5 million and in’07 it was 6.0 million.
It’s the season’s #2 “SNL” in 18-49 and total viewers behind only the January 8 edition hosted by Jim Carrey with musical guest The Black Keys” (4.9/20 in 18-49, 11.5 million viewers overall), which benefitted from a high-rated NFL telecast in primetime on NBC that night.
Last weekend’s “Saturday Night Live” was the #1 telecast of the night in adults 18-49 and total viewers ahead of all primetime programming on ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox.
Meanwhile, Nielsen has reported “live plus seven day” ratings for the May 7 edition of “Saturday Night Live,” which jumped to a 3.5 rating in adults 18-49, up from the previously reported “live plus same day” rating by 35 percent (3.5 vs. 2.6). It's the biggest increase this season for “SNL” going from “live plus same day” to “live plus seven.” The May 7 “Saturday Night Live” was hosted by Tina Fey and featured musical guest Ellie Goulding.