'Saturday Night Live' premiere ratings down nearly 50% compared to last year

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The premiere episode of “Saturday Night Live” struggled in the ratings, according to newly released Nielsen data.

The Season 47 premiere on Oct. 2 pulled in 4.9 million total viewers in comparison to the Season 46 premiere (in 2020) that attracted over 8.2 million viewers, per a Nielsen report. 

When the audience demographic was broken down, “SNL” ratings were down 47% with people between the ages of 25-54 and down 50% with people between the ages of 18-49 compared to the comedy sketch show’s 2020 premiere episode. 

In 2020, P18-49 clocked in at just under 2.4 million. In 2021, the number stands at just under 1.2 million. Meanwhile, for the range, P25-54, the numbers were 3.1 million in 2020, and 1.6 million in 2021.

“SNL” launched its new season with fan-favorite comedic actor Owen Wilson as the host and Grammy-winning country star Kacey Musgraves as the musical guest.

Pictured: (l-r) Musical guest Kacey Musgraves, host Owen Wilson, and Kenan Thompson during Promos in Studio 8H.
(Photo By: Rosalind O’Connor/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)

Season 47 premiere also saw changes in its cast. Longtime cast member Beck Bennett exited the show as well as one-season cast member Lauren Holt as “SNL” confirmed three new people joined its comedy crew: Aristotle Athari, James Austin Johnson, and Sarah Sherman.

The Emmy-winning series is also hoping its upcoming host/music choices will draw in viewers. 

Halsey is the musical guest on Oct. 9, when Kim Kardashian West makes her debut as host. Rami Malek will host on Oct. 16, with Young Thug as the musician.

And Jason Sudeikis who was a cast member and writer on “SNL” from 2003 to 2013, and will return to Studio 8H on Oct. 23 to host the show for the first time. 

The actor just won an Emmy for best actor for his starring role in “Ted Lasso.” The series, which Sudeikis also co-created, also won the Emmy for best comedy.

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