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Jim Carrey's 'SNL' ratings biggest since Betty White

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Jim Carrey and The Black Keys helped pump the first 2011 Saturday Night Live to the show’s biggest overnight rating since last May.

SNL delivered a 7.8 in the metered-market household Nielsens. You have to go back to when Betty White hosted the show with Jay-Z as musical guest last season to find a bigger next-day number. Though Carrey’s energy helped keep viewers awake (recap here), SNL was doubtless also aided by having a lead-in from the NFL Wild Card Playoff game.

Tonight NBC hopes its strong numbers continue with the two-hour premiere of The Cape. Here’s Ken Tucker’s review, and here’s Jeff Jensen with some subversive secrets behind the origin of the show.