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'Saturday Night Live' premiere suffers ratings implosion over last year

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Photo By: Will Heath/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

The ratings for the premiere of the newest season of Saturday Night Live suffered a massive implosion from those from last year.

According to a Nielsen Ratings report, SNL garnered only 4.9 million viewers for the beginning of its 47th season, a massive drop from the 8.2 million viewers the show had for its premiere in 2020.

SNL saw similar drops when the ratings were broken down by demographic. Among viewers between the ages of 25 and 54, the show saw a 47% drop from the year previous, while viewership dropped by 50% among viewers between the ages of 18 and 49.

The premiere show was hosted by popular actor Owen Wilson and featured Grammy-winning country star Kacey Musgraves as the musical guest. The cold open to the show mocked the political in-fighting between Democratic politicians trying to pass two massive spending bills, and even jabbed at the hypocrisy of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) who partied with rich celebrities at the Met Gala while criticizing the rich.

SNL got a ratings boost since the 2016 election, partly over political sketches lampooning then-President Donald Trump. In 2015, then-candidate Donald Trump hosted the show and garnered 9.3 million viewers, the show's biggest viewership since 2013.

The show, which is decidedly left-leaning, has been criticized over the years for some of its political jokes. Cast member Michael Che was accused of being "trans-phobic" for a joke he told during the "Weekend Update" news segment of the show in February. The show was also forced to fire cast member Shane Gillis in 2019 after some online outrage over insensitive comments he made while a guest on podcast years earlier.

SNL might see a ratings bump next weekend when Kim Kardashian West hosts and Halsey performs as the musical guest.

Here's the cold open sketch that so few Americans watched:

Biden Unites Democrats Cold Open - SNL www.youtube.com

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