‘Saturday Night Live’ Season 44 Ratings Off to Big Start

Saturday Night Live Season 44 Premiere (Credit: NBC)

The ratings are in for the 44th season premiere of Saturday Night Live, and they’re big.

The NBC sketch comedy series kicked off its new season with a 4.8 overnight rating in metered-market households, up 7% from the 2017 season opener.

The episode also logged an improvement in the demo, earning a 2.3 rating among adults aged 18-49, marking a 10% jump from last year.

Read MoreKanye West Wears MAGA Hat on ‘SNL,’ Goes on Pro-Trump Rant

These are SNL‘s best numbers since the 2016 season, which enjoyed a ratings bump during the presidential election cycle.

The Sept. 29 episode featured Star Wars and BlacKkKlansman actor Adam Driver and musical guest Kanye West. Matt Damon also had a cameo in the cold open as Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

West performed a rare three songs and made headlines for dressing as a Perrier water bottle for one performance, and wearing a red “Make America Great Again” hat during another.

After the show ended, the pro-Trump rapper went on a political rant and was booed by the audience.

On Sunday, West drew more outrage when he took to social media and called for an end to the 13th constitutional amendment, which abolished slavery.

The post included a photo of the hip-hop star wearing a red “MAGA” hat, along with a message saying the hat “represents good and America becoming whole again.”

“We will no longer outsource to other countries. We build factories here in America and create jobs. We will provide jobs for all who are free from prisons as we abolish the 13th amendment. Message sent with love,” West tweeted.

After facing heavy criticism, he clarified his comments.

In a followup tweet, he said: “The 13th Amendment is slavery in disguise meaning it never ended We are the solution that heals.”