Donald Trump's 'Saturday Night Live' episode garners highest viewership since 2012

NEWYou can now listen to Fox News articles!

After much criticism and publicity, Donald Trump's 90 minutes in the "Saturday Night Live" spotlight went on as planned, and the NBC show saw some high ratings as a result.

Hours after the broadcast, Trump was on television to reflect on his performance. He said it was "very well received and probably got very good ratings, who knows."

Preliminary Nielsen ratings measuring households in 56 U.S. markets gave Saturday's "SNL" its highest rating only since January 2012. Basketball great Charles Barkley was host that night.

Early numbers showed that the Trump episode brought in a 6.6 household rating. Full results, including viewership figures, will be released Thursday, NBC said.

This season’s previously highest-rated episode was the 41st season premiere, which featured Miley Cyrus and Hillary Clinton. According to Entertainment Weekly, Trump’s overnight rating was 47 percent higher than Clinton’s episode of the series.

It wasn't Trump's first turn as guest host. The billionaire developer and media personality presided in April 2004, a few weeks after he debuted as host of NBC's "The Apprentice."

This time, while Trump demonstrated once again that he could take a joke, he was running for president. The sketches — both with and without him — seldom let the audience forget it.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.