‘Saturday Night Live’ Posts Season-Low Ratings in Return, Maya Rudolph Hosting

by John Jamison

The long-running sketch comedy show “Saturday Night Live” has seen better days. On March 27, “SNL” returned after taking a month off and was greeted by less than stellar numbers.

Former regular and longtime star Maya Rudolph hosted the show. It featured a musical performance from Kentucky rapper Jack Harlow and names like Martin Short and Tina Fey filled out the list of guest appearances.

According to Deadline, the most recent episode “drew a 3.6 household Live+Same Day rating in the 44 metered local markets and a 1.5 adults 18-49 rating in the 25 markets with local people meters.”

I know what you’re thinking. What does that even mean? Not to worry, it translates roughly to 3.5 % of TV households tuned in to the show, with 1.5% of adults aging 18-49 watching. But the more important metric is how the numbers stack up to the previous episode of “Saturday Night Live.”

The last episode aired on February 27. It set the previous season lows in both the household and adult viewership categories. Last night, the show saw a .6% decrease from those lows among the households that watched.

“Saturday Night Live” Is Doing Well Compared to Other Shows

Interestingly, the show is performing pretty well compared to the rest of the comedies on TV. Even though the ratings from yesterday were the worst of the season, “SNL remains #1 among all comedies on broadcast and cable in 18-49 and total viewers.”

Deadline claims that this is a first for “Saturday Night Live.” This is pretty historic when you consider that the show has been running for 41 years now.

On the flip side, fewer people are watching broadcast TV these days. The rise of subscription-based streaming services has drastically changed traditional cable viewership in recent years. So it is possible that being the #1 comedy on cable doesn’t mean the same thing it did even 10 years ago.

Forbes.com can help provide some context.

“The 1979-’80 season of SNL drew the highest household rating, averaging a 13.5.” 13.5% of households is a dramatically higher figure than the 3.5% viewership numbers from March 27, 2021.

None of this is to say that “SNL” is going anywhere. But it is definitely interesting to look at the differences between then and now.

Maya Rudolph’s monologue from the March 27 episode can be seen below.