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'SNL' 40th anniversary bash watched by 23 million viewers

"SNL" anniversary special brings in 23.1 million viewers.

The Nielsen ratings company says NBC's "Saturday Night Live" 40th anniversary bash has drummed up a huge audience. Preliminary figures indicate Sunday's retrospective special was seen by 23.1 million viewers.

That makes it NBC's most-watched prime-time entertainment special since May 2004, when the network aired a "Friends" clips show the night of its series finale.

It's NBC's most-watched prime-time entertainment broadcast overall, excluding post-Super Bowl programs, since May 2004, for an episode of "ER" the night of the "Frasier" series finale.

The 3½-hour special looked back on the comedy series' four-decade run and featured more than 80 guest stars.

Nielsen says the preceding one-hour red carpet special was seen by 11.1 million viewers.

Associated Press

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