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Betty White-hosted SNL attracts highest ratings since 2008

The Betty White-hosted Saturday Night Live drew an 8.8/21 household rating/share in the preliminary numbers, becoming the show’s highest-rated episode in 18 months:

With a telecast hosted by Betty White and featuring musical guest Jay-Z, last night’s “Saturday Night Live” averaged an 8.8 household rating, 21 share in the metered markets, highest for the series since November 1, 2008 (9.0/20 for a telecast hosted by Ben Affleck with musical guest David Cook and guest appearances by Republican Presidential nominee Senator John McCain and Tina Fey as Governor Sarah Palin just prior to the 2008 election).

Final numbers will be known in the coming days. The complete press release is included after the jump.

HOSTED BY BETTY WHITE AND FEATURING MUSICAL GUEST JAY-Z, ‘SNL’ ATTRACTS ITS HIGHEST METERED-MARKET RATINGS SINCE NOVEMBER 1, 2008

UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif. – May 9, 2010 – “Saturday Night Live” has scored its highest metered-market household rating in a year and a half, since the pre-election telecast of November 2008, according to in-home viewing figures from the 56 local markets metered by Nielsen Media Research.

With a telecast hosted by Betty White and featuring musical guest Jay-Z, last night’s “Saturday Night Live” averaged an 8.8 household rating, 21 share in the metered markets, highest for the series since November 1, 2008 (9.0/20 for a telecast hosted by Ben Affleck with musical guest David Cook and guest appearances by Republican Presidential nominee Senator John McCain and Tina Fey as Governor Sarah Palin just prior to the 2008 election).

In the 25 markets with Local People Meters, the May 8 edition of “Saturday Night Live” averaged a 5.1 rating, 20 share in adults 18-49, also the show’s highest rating since November 1, 2008 (5.2/18).

“Saturday Night Live” was the #1 telecast of the night, topping all primetime programs on all major networks in metered-market results. In households, “SNL” doubled the #1 telecast in primetime, ABC’s coverage of the NBA Playoffs (4.4/8 in the metered markets).

Versus the same night last year, “Saturday Night Live” is up 66 percent in metered-market households (8.8 vs. 5.3).

The May 8 telecast of “Saturday Night Live” featured performances from show alums Rachel Dratch, Tina Fey, Ana Gasteyer, Amy Poehler, Maya Rudolph and Molly Shannon.

National ratings, including viewer totals, for last night’s “Saturday Night Live” are due from Nielsen on Thursday, May 13.

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