In preliminary overnight ratings from Nielsen, Variety reports that Trump earned a 6.6 rating with meter-marketed households. What that means is that Trump’s episode was rated 57% higher than the show’s fall average and 53% higher versus the same episode last year.
According to the trade magazine, it was the highest rating since “SNL’s” January 7, 2012 episode with host Charles Barkley and musical guest Kelly Clarkson.
Final numbers are expected later this week. For now, it’s projected that the episode was watched by 9 million total viewers. That means it beat last season’s highest-rated episode with host Chris Rock and musical guest Prince, which was watched by 7.4 million viewers.
The timing of Trump’s episode falls during November Sweeps, a period of time in which show ratings inform advertising rates.
Trump appeared on the show for just 12 minutes. Under election law, other candidates could petition for equal time on NBC stations under the “equal opportunity” clause. Trump’s time is much less than the typical “SNL” host spends on-screen, but much more than Hillary Clinton’s three minutes and 12 seconds earlier this season.
The unpredictable Republican presidential candidate has been given the credit for helping to boost debate ratings, as well. The previous GOP debates brought in 24 million, 23 million, and 14 million
viewers for Fox News in August, CNN in September, CNBC in October, respectively.
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