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Kelly Clarkson

Trump's 'SNL' appearance wins viewers, not critics

"Saturday Night Live" earned the expected ratings benefit of an episode hosted by Donald Trump but, given the protests and vicious panning the show received, NBC has to wonder if it was all worthwhile.

From a pure business viewpoint, the Nielsen company said Saturday's show had its highest rating since January 2012 in the nation's top 56 markets, all the way back to an episode featuring Charles Barkley and Kelly Clarkson. A viewership estimate taking the nation as a whole into account won't be available until Thursday.

Latino organizations protested the booking for the same reason that NBC cut ties to its former "Celebrity Apprentice" host last summer: ...