Lil Wayne, Michael Phelps, and Amy Poehler by Dana Edelson/NBC Lil Wayne, Michael Phelps, and Amy Poehler by Dana Edelson/NBC

Michael Phelps' winning streak continues. Though the Olympic gold-medalist host more or less treaded water while Tina Fey's return and a cameo by William Shatner generated the biggest and best buzz, Saturday Night Live this weekend delivered its best premiere ratings in seven years, netting a 7.4 household rating/18 share in the 55 metered markets. It also marked SNL's most-watched installment since Dec. 17, 2002 (when former vice president Al Gore hosted).

The sketch show's 34th season opener - whose ratings do not include New Orleans or the Hurricane Ike-targeted Houston, Texas - was up 64 percent compared to last year's Lebron James-fronted premiere. - Matt Mitovich

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" Read Erin's in-depth recap of the SNL premiere
" Matt Roush on SNL Opener: Fey Flies, Phelps Sinks
" Cheers to SNL's Palin-Clinton: That's the Ticket!
" Rain Check? Obama Nixes SNL Visit Due to Hurricane
" Use our Online Video Guide to catch up on SNL clips