SNL premiere most-watched since 2008
© Saturday Night Live/NBC

The premiere this season of "Saturday Night Live" was the show's most watched season debut in the past eight years.


The SNL episode, hosted by Margot Robbie, saw a 31 percent increase from last year's premiere and was the biggest premiere since 2008, the show announced in a release.

The episode featured Alec Baldwin as Republican presidential nominee Donald TrumpDonald TrumpKinzinger, Gaetz get in back-and-forth on Twitter over Cheney vote READ: Liz Cheney's speech on the House floor Cheney in defiant floor speech: Trump on 'crusade to undermine our democracy' MORE, and he received praise for his performance.

The opening skit recreated the first presidential debate, in which Trump and Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonSchumer: 'The big lie is spreading like a cancer' among GOP America departs Afghanistan as China arrives Young, diverse voters fueled Biden victory over Trump MORE faced off against each other.

The season debut also featured Larry David playing Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersWyden: Funding infrastructure with gas tax hike a 'big mistake' The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Biden, Congress drawn into pipeline cyberattack, violence in Israel The Memo: Outrage rises among liberals over Israel MORE.

The episode averaged 8.297 million viewers, about 2 million more than last year's season debut, which averaged 6.323 million.

The show's highest total-viewer average was the season premiere on Sept. 13, 2008. The episode, hosted by Michael Phelps, featured Tina Fey playing Gov. Sarah Palin. 

The episode averaged 10.151. million viewers overall.