September 15, 2008 / 6:59 AM / 12 years ago

"Saturday Night Live" has best premiere since 2001

Tina Fey as Sarah Palin (R) and Amy Poehler as Hillary Clinton are seen in a frame from the September 13, 2008 episode of Saturday Night Live. REUTERS/Dana Edelson/NBC Photo/Handout

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

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