NBC’s Saturday Night Live 40th anniversary special Sunday night February 15 brought in some of the networks best ratings for an entertainment show in years.
Everyone who is anyone showed up to Sunday’s SNL 40th Anniversary Special. The best of the best from actors and musicians, to athletes, politicians and of course SNL alumni made their way back to Studio 8H to celebrate Lorne Michaels and SNL in its 40th year.
According to preliminary national estimates from Nielsen, SNL 40th Anniversary Special averaged a 7.8 rating/21 share in adults 18-49 and 23.1 million viewers overall from 8 to 11 p.m., preceded by an hourlong red-carpet special that performed nicely as well (3.0/10 in 18-49, 11.1 million viewers overall). According to Variety, The 7.8 rating is the best for any NBC primetime entertainment telecast (excluding post-Super Bowl programs) since the “Will & Grace” finale in May 2006, and the 23.1 million total viewers is the net’s best since the night of the “Frasier” finale in May 2004.
The ratings from the SNL special rivaled last week’s Grammy Awards on CBS, and was just about as heavily star-studded. Along with a reprisal of some of the greatest sketches in SNL history, the hosts took the time to honor the lost members of the cast and crew, as well as Tracey Morgan, who was unable to attend the festivities due to his recovery from a terrible car accident.
In case you missed the show, here is a performance recalling the great musical acts over SNL history