Thursday, April 25, 2024

“Saturday Night Live” Ratings Collapse to LOWEST in Over a Decade As Show Pairs “Family Favorite” Maya Rudolph With Unknown Musical Guest Jack Harlow


Maya Rudolph is brilliant, but the general “SNL” audience considers her part of the family and not a guest host.

Jack Harlow is unknown to just about everyone as a white rapper, and isn’t a draw.

These are the lessons learned from last night’s show as “SNL” had the lowest recorded ratings in over a decade. Going back to 2009 you can’t find a 3.6 million rating. But that’s what happened as Rudolph — albeit wonderful– hosted, and Harlow performed.

The show lost 500,000 viewers from its last airing on February 27th. Post-election, “SNL” has been averaging around 4.1 million.

The season high was 9.1 million on the Saturday after the election, and the numbers stayed around 6 million for three more weeks. But then reality set in: Alec Baldwin as Trump was gone. Trump himself was gone, and with him all acerbic political bashing. The resistance was done. “SNL” suddenly lacked a purpose. It went from being appointment viewing to a pedestrian experience. The fans tuned out.

The pandemic hasn’t helped. It became increasingly difficult to book hosts and musical guests. Celebrities didn’t want to travel to New York. No one had anything to promote. And so the choices whittled down to Rudolph, who we love but isn’t a movie star, and Harlow, who is unknown and frankly, after last night– even with an unadvertised appearance by Adam Levine, looking strange — may remain so.

Things should improve over the next two weeks with two Oscar nominees coming– Daniel Kaluuya and Carey Mulligan– and musical guests at least with a following– Kid Cudi and St. Vincent. But it was wrong of “SNL” to hang Rudolph out to dry ratings wise with a bad musical guest. They did her in, really. She deserves better.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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