Real Palin Guesting On 'SNL' Rockets Ratings

With big TV ratings magnet Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin as a guest, NBC's "Saturday Night Live" soared to its highest household ratings in more than 14 years.

"SNL" hit a Nielsen preliminary 10.7 rating/24 share for this past Saturday night--its best numbers since 1994, when figure skater Nancy Kerrigan hosted with musical guest Aretha Franklin.

In recent weeks, "SNL" ratings have been soaring with "30 Rock" star and "SNL" alumni Tina Fey playing Gov. Palin in many opening sketches. The wildly popular sketches have been earning big viewer numbers on YouTube, for example. Special editions of "SNL: Weekend Update" shows have been aired on NBC on Thursday night with Fey playing Palin--also to strong ratings.

The show, hosted by Josh Brolin, improved ratings by 161% versus a typical original October episode of a year ago which averaged a 4.1/10. Special guest appearances included Alec Baldwin, Mark Wahlberg, and Oliver Stone, director of the current theatrical release "W," in which Brolin plays President George W. Bush.

Through five originals this year, "SNL" is up 76% versus a year ago to a 7.4/18 versus a 4.2/10 for three originals of a year ago.

Palin's mark on TV ratings has been strong--ever since she was nominated for vice president during the Republican National Convention in March, giving many TV networks record ratings results.

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