October 19, 2008 / 11:37 PM / 11 years ago

Palin cameo helps "SNL" reach 14-year ratings high

NEW YORK (Hollywood Reporter) - The fake Sarah Palin has been doing great things for “Saturday Night Live,” but the real one put “SNL” over the top, to its highest overnight ratings in 14 years.

“SNL,” with Palin as a guest, averaged a 10.7 rating/24 share in the 56 metered markets, according to preliminary estimates released Sunday by Nielsen Media Research. It would be the highest-rated “SNL” since March 12, 1994, when Olympic skater Nancy Kerrigan was the host and Aretha Franklin the musical guest.

Those numbers also would make “SNL” the third-highest-rated show of last week, including primetime, following ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars” (12.0/18) and CBS’ “CSI” (11.2/17).

Saturday’s program featured an opening with the real Palin speaking to executive producer Lorne Michaels while Tina Fey portrayed Palin in front of the studio audience. Among other things, Palin tried to get Michaels to agree to her idea for a skit based on “30 Rock,” Fey’s NBC series, on which Michaels is an executive producer. But Michaels declined, saying that nobody watches “30 Rock.” She was introduced to Alec Baldwin, another “30 Rock” star. Later, during the “Weekend Update” segment of the show, Palin appeared on the set with Seth Myers and Amy Poehler.

Josh Brolin, who portrays George W. Bush in the feature “W.,” hosted the show, which included appearances by the film’s director, Oliver Stone, and actor Mark Wahlberg.

Saturday’s show was up 161 percent compared with the average in October 2007 (4.1/10). It was up 47 percent compared with the October 4 “SNL,” which averaged a 7.3/18.

Reuters/Hollywood Reporter

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