SNL just ended its 46th season and achieved a major ratings milestone for the first time ever in the process. According to Deadline, Saturday Night Live came in at the number one spot for entertainment shows among all ad-supported networks in the key demo of adults 18-49 years old. The long-running sketch comedy series was also the number one comedy on ad-supported television in the same demo. This is SNL's second year in a row accomplishing that feat.
Deadline reports that SNL had an average rating of 2.06 among 18-49-year-old viewers, and its overall viewership numbers hit a total of 9.0 million watchers in Live+7 numbers. The outlet notes that the biggest factor in these ratings was the show's fall 2020 episodes, as the more recent spring 2021 episodes had much lower viewership. The season premiere — which aired on Oct. 3 with host Chris Rock — and the post-election episode — hosted by Dave Chappelle on Nov. 7 — were the two highest-rated episodes of the season.
Thank you to our cast, crew, hosts, musical guests, special guests, and everyone who watched Season 46! pic.twitter.com/WRwQIyQeJB— Saturday Night Live - SNL (@nbcsnl) May 24, 2021
Following the big ratings news, NBCUniversal executive Susan Rovner — who is the Chairman, Entertainment Content for the company's Television and Streaming division — issued a statement. "SNL is one of the most culturally significant shows in television history, and being #1 in its 46th season is a testament to how that relevance has continued to grow over the past five decades," Rovner said. "One of the greatest gifts of this role is being able to watch the SNL team do what they do each week, all while keeping the show as strong and vibrant as ever."
Katie Hockmeyer — EVP, Late Night Programming, NBCUniversal Television and Streaming — added comments as well. "Congratulations to Lorne Michaels and the entire cast and crew for this milestone," Hockmeyer said. "What makes it even more remarkable is that it was accomplished during a pandemic, amid quarantines and strict protocols. It required an outstanding blend of brilliant, creative entertainment and technological talent."
Notably, SNL star Pete Davidson recently implied that he may be ready to hang up his hat at the show. During a new roundtable interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Davidson was asked if he has any plans to got for 18 seasons, like his castmate Kenan Thompson. Davidson replied, "Yeah, I’m good." He then joked, "I'm surprised I made it to seven," and added, "I’m ready to hang up the jersey. Kenan's like f—in' Karl Malone out there."