Eddie Murphy’s SNL return was not only one of the best episodes in the show’s history, he also managed to deliver a 11-year audience high in viewership when delayed DVR playback is taken into account.
Eddie Murphy’s long-awaited SNL return on Dec. 21 2019 (Christmas show) gifted NBC’s late night comedy variety series its biggest-ever lift when counting a week’s worth of delayed viewing, according to Nielsen.
This was a special SNL as it marked Murphy’s return for the first time in 35 years plus the show featured pop star Lizzo as its musical guest. The final episode of 2019 averaged 16.3 million total viewers in Nielsen’s “Live + 7 Day” data, marking an increase of 6.3 million viewers over a week’s worth of mostly DVR playback.
The Dec. 21st episode also hit an 11-year SNL audience high in Live + 7 Day viewing, which now represents the largest time-shifted audience since its Oct. 18, 2008 telecast. That episode featured Sarah Palin, who was being impersonated by Tina Fey, with Josh Brolin serving as host and the musical guest was Adele averaged 16.8 million viewers with a week of delayed viewing.
Eddie Murphy viewing grew to 4.4 P18-49 (advertiser-coveted demo) rating. That’s the highest-rated episode in Live + 7 Day rating since Alec Baldwin’s Feb 11, 2017 appearance as host (musical guest Ed Sheeran).
SNL is currently in its 45th TV season and season-to-date (Sept'19 - Dec'21st) Eddie’s stint as host was up +112% in the key demo (4.4 vs. 2.1) and up +91% in total viewers (16.3 million vs. 8.5 million).