"Saturday Night Live" has best premiere since 2001

Mon Sep 15, 2008 2:58am EDT
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By Paul J. Gough

NEW YORK (Hollywood Reporter) - With a little help from Tina Fey doubling as Sarah Palin and from guest host Michael Phelps, "Saturday Night Live" logged its best season premiere since 2001.

It was also the most-watched "SNL" for any date since December 17, 2002, when former vice president Al Gore was the guest host and jam band Phish was the musical guest.

"SNL" averaged a 7.4 household rating/18 share in the top 55 "metered" markets, Nielsen Media Research said Sunday. Saturday's program was up 64 percent compared to last year's season premiere on September 29. The top market was Baltimore, the hometown of Olympics hero Phelps.

Final ratings will be out Thursday.

Reuters/Hollywood Reporter

<p>Actresses Tina Fey (L) and Amy Poehler present the award for "Accessory Designer of the Year" during the Council of Fashion Designers of America annual awards ceremony in New York June 2, 2008. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson</p>