Despite the star power of Adele and Beyonce, the local ratings for the Grammy Awards stumbled about 12 percent from a year ago.
But Alec Baldwin's appearance as guest host of "Saturday Night Live" led to season-high local and national ratings for the late-night program.
The Grammys had a 13.8 rating on WIVB-TV, the local CBS affiliate, down from a 15.7 rating locally on a Monday in 2016. This year's rating also at was lower than the Golden Globes (14.4) had a month ago on WGRZ-TV, the local NBC affiliate.
"SNL," which had another Melissa McCarthy appearance as stumbling White House press secretary Sean Spicer, had an 8.0 rating on WGRZ-TV. That was 33 percent higher than the already strong 6.0 local rating "SNL" had averaged this season thanks to its skewering of the 2016 presidential election and the resulting Donald Trump administration.
The national "SNL" overnight rating in the 56 markets measured was 7.2, the highest it has had in six years. The program reportedly has had its highest audience in 22 years.
In fairness, the Grammys had some tough local competition. The Buffalo Sabres' 4-2 loss to Vancouver, which played opposite the music awards for two hours, had a 6.0 rating on MSG. (The Sabres' win Saturday in Toronto had a 7.4 rating.)
The return of AMC's "The Walking Dead" Sunday also had a 6.0 local rating opposite the Grammys for an hour.
"SNL" had its highest rating of the season, but it wasn't the funniest program of the year. McCarthy's over-the-top appearance as Spicer seemed less funny the second time around.
Baldwin didn't appear as President Trump for an hour in a strong skit in which the president was at the People's Court arguing against a "so-called," three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit that overturned his travel ban.
In switching between the Sabres game and the Grammys Sunday, I did catch host James Corden's amusing Carpool Karaoke bit in which Neil Diamond led a star-studded sing along of "Sweet Caroline." It was made even more amusing because so many other singers didn't appear to know all the words. Apparently, they aren't Boston Red Sox fans.
I wish there had been more of Corden, who intentionally stumbled down a long staircase in his opening. And I wish there had been less of several of the lengthy performances. Is Beyonce's song over yet?
I also caught Adele's so-called stumble in her George Michael tribute that led her to start over. Before starting over, Adele actually admitted on stage that she said a swear word.
I didn't know what word it was, but I imagine many Sabres fan were saying the same thing as the team stumbled Sunday.