Womp womp. Saturday Night Live’s season premiere, hosted by Owen Wilson with musical guest Kacey Musgraves, drew in 4.9 million total viewers—down 41% overall from SNL‘s Chris Rock-hosted Season 46 premiere. These numbers make this premiere the all-time lowest rating for a SNL season premiere in the series’ 47-year history, as per Deadline.
However, it’s important to note these numbers only reflect live viewings on cable. This is the first season SNL is available to stream live on NBC’s Peacock, and since streaming numbers are typically kept under lock and key, there’s no telling how this affected the rating.
The live sketch variety show isn’t alone in its struggle when it comes to network ratings. But even with this new low, SNL remains a leader in cable viewership. Wilson’s episode still ended up with the second-highest ratings number in the 18-49 demographic for any comedy during this year’s Fall TV Premiere Week, behind another long-running titan, The Simpsons.
Last season, SNL was the #1 entertainment program last season in the 18-49 demographic.
This week’s episode, hosted by Kim Kardashian West, will undoubtably bring some interested eyes. The social media icon and reality TV star will makes her SNL debut with musical guest Halsey. There’s truly no telling how this will go, but her monologue may be one for the books (whether that’s a good or bad thing, only time will tell).
Also, SNL ratings are known to increase steadily over the course of a season, so really the only way to go from here is up.
The following two episodes before the show’s first break will feature host Rami Malek with rapper Young Thug and then SNL alumnus Jason Sudeikis with musical guest Brandi Carlile.
Saturday Night Live airs Saturdays at 11:30 p.m. ET on NBC. The first four episodes of Season 47 will stream live on Peacock.