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'SNL' opener takes huge ratings drop in Buffalo, but not nationally

Have some Western New York viewers had enough of Alec Baldwin's impersonation of President Trump?

That's one question to arise from the surprisingly low local rating for the premiere of "Saturday Night Live."

Despite Baldwin winning one of the nine Emmys earned by NBC's late-night program a few weeks ago for its work in the 2016-17 season, Saturday night's opener had only a 4.4 live rating on WGRZ-TV (Channel 2), the local NBC affiliate.

The 2016 opener, in which Baldwin played Trump for the first time, had a 7.8 rating on Channel 2.

If you're doing the math, that's about a 42 percent drop this season. That's much larger than the national drop that saw 7 million viewers watching Saturday's opener compared to 8.3 million a year ago. Nationally, the "SNL" opener was still the second most-watched in nine years, with only last year's opener rating ahead of it.

Of course, some decline was expected since the 2016 opener had the advantage of being in a presidential election year, a month before Trump's victory.

But why such a big drop here locally?

It could be because "SNL" is approaching the point of Trump overkill with some viewers. But I doubt it.

It could be because more Western New Yorkers DVR the program and watch it at a more reasonable hour. Those figures haven't arrived yet.

It could be because Saturday's program, which featured Ryan Gosling as host, just wasn't very funny.

Here is more ratings news:

The second episode of "The Good Doctor" did well here even though it didn't alleviate my concern that the premise -- an autistic surgeon who is smarter than every other doctor on staff – may not be long lasting. The second episode had a 7.2 live rating on WKBW-TV (Channel 7) and won its 10 p.m. time period. NBC's "Brave" had a 4.9 rating on Channel 2 opposite it.

"The Good Doctor" also did well nationally, which led ABC to expand its season order of 13 episodes to 18 episodes, which it is calling a full season.

Strong starts locally for 'Young Sheldon,' 'Good Doctor,' 'This Is Us'

As usual, "The Big Bang Theory" was the highest-rated network show Monday with a 14.2 on WIVB-TV (Channel 4).

Kansas City's 29-20 victory over Washington on ESPN's Monday Night Football was the second highest-rated program of the night with an 11.0 rating.

NBC's second episode of "This Is Us" on Tuesday had a 13.7 live rating on Channel 2, about 10 percent lower than the incredibly high 15.1 rating for the season opener.

CBS' aging "NCIS" was the only Tuesday program with a higher local rating. It had a 14.0 rating on WIVB-TV (Channel 4). But "This Is Us" typically has much stronger demographics than "NCIS."


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