By Ashley Mullins, Contributing Writer
The SNL audience has spoken and ratings are in. Over 12 million people watched Betty White host the show this past May. SNL was the highest rated telecast that Saturday. That means it was first in the ratings. The show had more viewers than any other telecast on Saturday night.
What is so different from this episode compared to any other episodes aired? Well, other than the high ratings, the only other difference would be that the audience campaigned several months for White to host.
Are we on to something here? What if the audience had a say in who hosted every week? Could SNL become one of the most watched television shows again?
If the producers would listen to their audience instead of assuming that we want to see Alec Baldwin host for the 343rd time, they would probably have a bigger following. If the public were to aid in finding a host, SNL would definitely be higher in the ratings because viewers would feel like that have a type of ownership over the show.
Producers owe it to their talented staff to listen to their viewers, make the show the best it could be, and boost ratings.
The first thing I learned in Public Relations was you have to know the audience and what they want in order for the product to be well received. In this case, producers need to understand who the audience is and what they think is funny. This is challenging because there are so many different age groups that watch the show, all of which have different ideas of what is funny.
Also, I am sure that I am not the only devoted SNL fan that is sick of hearing how bad the show is now. I am also sick of hearing how untalented the writers and cast are. The cast and crew are definitely talented and can only work with what they are given. If they have a host that doesn’t want to take risks or be out there and goofy, then they have to work with them in writing things that they approve of.
Everyone involved with the show deserves the chance to showcase the talent they have no matter what job they are doing behind or in front of the camera.
I propose that Saturday Night Live considers viewers voting for the hosts online on their website. I’m thinking the only way they would be able to pull online voting off is if viewers did it on a monthly basis. SNL could put up a list of prospective hosts from sports, entertainment, government, etc. that have agreed to host and the people who are in the top 3 or 4 would get to host the following month.
Online voting would bring a whole different dynamic to the show. SNL would not be receiving any written material. All they would receive would be input about whom the audience would like to see host. If we (the audience) are happy, we will continue to watch. If we continue to watch, ratings go up. It is a no brainer. This could be a win-win situation.
I want to see the show succeed. I can’t imagine Saturday Night Live being canceled like all of my other favorite NBC shows that have seen the boot this past year.