‘SNL’ time zone shift pays dividends with big boost for NBC
NBC’s decision to air a live version of “Saturday Night Live” in every time zone has paid immediate dividends.
The network’s telecast last weekend, with host Jimmy Fallon, musician Harry Styles and with Alec Baldwin and Melissa McCarthy delivering their hit impersonations of Donald Trump and Sean Spicer, was seen by 7.87 million people, or 21 percent more than the previous week’s telecast, the Nielsen company said.
For the first time, NBC decided to air the show live from New York in the Mountain and Pacific time zones – then repeat it in the show’s customary 11:30 p.m. time slot. Nielsen did not immediately have exact numbers on how much this decision boosted viewership. But counting both airings, overnight ratings among young viewers in the two Western time zones more than doubled over the previous week’s telecast.
Among the 18-to-49-year-old demographic last week, “Saturday Night Live” had more viewers than all prime-time shows except “The Big Bang Theory” and “Empire.”
CBS won the week in prime-time, averaging 6.6 million viewers. ABC had 4.5 million, NBC had 4.4 million, Fox had 2.5 million, Univision had 1.5 million, Telemundo had 1.2 million, ION Television had 1.1 million and the CW had 900,000.
Fox News Channel was the week’s most popular cable network, averaging 2.33 million in prime-time.
ABC’s “World News Tonight” topped the evening newscasts with an average of 7.61 million viewers. NBC’s “Nightly News” had 7.56 million and the “CBS Evening News” had 6.2 million.
For the week of April 10-16, the top 10 shows, their networks and viewerships: “The Big Bang Theory,” CBS, 11.89 million; “Dancing With the Stars,” ABC, 10.31 million; “Stayin’ Alive: Grammy Salue to the Bee Gees,” CBS, 10.31 million; “The Voice” (Monday, 8 p.m.), NBC, 9.88 million; “Blue Bloods,” CBS, 9.43 million; “NCIS,” CBS, 9.06 million; “Hawaii Five-0,” CBS, 8.49 million; “Survivor,” CBS, 8.32 million; “60 Minutes,” CBS, 8.16 million; “The Voice” (Tuesday), NBC, 7.76 million.
Kevin Spacey to host Tony Awards show
Kevin Spacey has been picked to host this year’s Tony Awards, putting the award-winning star of “House of Cards” in the unenviable position of steering a telecast surely facing a post-“Hamilton” hangover.
The telecast on June 11 will originate from the 6,000-seat Radio City Music Hall and producers are sure to be keeping their fingers crossed that they avoid any technical or human snafus that have marred previous awards shows this year, including the wrong winner announced at the Oscars and sound issues at the Grammys.
Producers also hope Spacey will limit the audience erosion likely from the numbers last year when “Hamilton” drew 8.73 million viewers, up 35 percent from 2015.
Last year’s host was James Corden, and 2015 saw Kristin Chenoweth teaming up with Alan Cumming.