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A Hillary Clinton effect? Decent ratings for 'Saturday Night Live' season premiere, reports say

"Saturday Night Live" ratings are up for the show's 41st season premiere, hosted by Miley Cyrus on Oct. 3, 2015. Hillary Rodham Clinton played a bartender named Val (rather than a caricature of herself, as most politicians do on "SNL"), with cast member Kate McKinnon, left, portraying Clinton. Photo Credit: AP / Dana Edelson

"Saturday Night Live's" 41st season opener had a decent outing Saturday -- maybe credit due to Val? 

According to reports, notably one in Variety late Sunday, "SNL" had a 4.5 rating and an 11 share in 56 metered markets -- about 13 percent higher than a year ago from the 40th season launch, hosted by Chris Pratt. Saturday's host was Miley Cyrus, along with a big of role-play by Hillary Clinton . . .

How good were these numbers? We won't exactly know until Thursday when the final figures are out, but these are not bad at all -- although Variety did note that the show opener notched only a 2 rating among young adults, which was pretty much the target demographic Hillary Clinton and her handlers were aiming for. That was flat compared with a year ago.  

Last season's opener averaged 5.56 million viewers. Assume this year's launch to get a bit closer to 6 million, but probably not surpass that figure. 

As always, it is worth noting that Hillary Clinton/Val -- while no doubt pleased with the bigger crowd -- had a bigger score than a mere Nielsen number: the social media afterglow, which should continue for a while. That attention -- while no longer unquantifiable by Nielsen, which now monitors just about everything from YouTube to playback -- should add considerably to the basic Nielsen number in the days to come. (Not to mention the many news reports that have already replayed the "Val the bartender" bit countless times).

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