‘SNL’ Season 47 Premiere Sinks 35% From Last Year in Household Ratings

But the Season 46 start had a looming presidential election — and Jim Carrey’s debut as Joe Biden

SNL Kacey Musgraves Owen Wilson Kenan Thompson Season 47

The Season 47 “SNL” premiere, hosted by Owen Wilson, didn’t get the sketch-comedy show off to a great start in TV ratings.

According to Nielsen’s earliest-available data, “Saturday Night Live” drew a 3.5 household rating, which was in line with the final two Season 46 episodes, but down 35% from the Season 46 debut. Those numbers are drawn from the 44 metered media markets from which Nielsen gets its first results.

Here’s the rub on that comparison: The final two “SNL” episodes of Season 46 were the lowest of that run.

Last night’s show had a 1.3 rating among adults 18-49. With this initial snapshot, which for the key demo is compromised of 25 metered markets with local people meters, the Season 47 premiere was down a whopping 53% from last year.

Those final two Season 46 episodes both had a 1.5 demo rating, per the local people meters. So Saturday’s episode was 13% lower than those.

Official national Nielsen ratings will be available on Tuesday. Wilson’s musical guest was Kacey Musgraves.

It’s important (and only fair) to note here that the Season 46 premiere, which was hosted by Chris Rock, had a looming presidential election to draw comedy from. It was also the highly anticipated debut of Jim Carrey playing Joe Biden, which was announced and advertised ahead of the episode.

Rock’s musical guest was Megan Thee Stallion.

Next week’s “SNL” features Kim Kardashian West as host and Halsey as the musical guest. That episode will be followed by Rami Malek/Young Thug and Jason Sudeikis/Brandi Carlile.

Cast members Beck Bennett and Lauren Holt have exited “SNL,” while the NBC variety sketch series will be retaining this ensemble lineup for the 2021-22 season: Aidy Bryant, Michael Che, Pete Davidson, Mikey Day, Chloe Fineman, Heidi Gardner, Colin Jost, Kate McKinnon, Alex Moffat, Kyle Mooney, Ego Nwodim, Chris Redd, Cecily Strong, Kenan Thompson, Melissa Villaseñor and Bowen Yang, featuring Andrew Dismukes and Punkie Johnson.

Three featured players have been added to the “SNL” cast for Season 47: Aristotle Athari, James Austin Johnson and Sarah Sherman.

In addition to the live broadcast on NBC, Peacock will livestream the first four episodes of “SNL’s” 47th season.