We certainly enjoyed Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake's holiday episode of SNL, and it doesn't look like we're alone in that at all. As expected from the hyped up episode featuring two stellar SNL performers, the night wound up being a ratings bonanza for NBC. Looks like NBC Universal, the network that was named as a "charity" during a Family Feud sketch, isn't in that bad of shape when it comes to getting exciting guests for Saturday Night Live.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, SNL reached a two-year high in the ratings. The show's final episode of 2013, featuring Jimmy Fallon as host and Justin Timberlake as musical guest (or as co-host), was the highest rated Christmas episode since 2004.
It's a ratings lift that you pretty much expect when Justin Timberlake's name flashes on the screen during a commercial break, but nothing was cemented until the show went live. To break down the SNL episode as far as ratings go, it averaged a 6.3 rating and 16 share among households in 56 markets.
A ratings high that can compare to that dates back to January 7, 2012, which featured host Charles Barkley. While that one was poorly received, he had a great lead-in from the NFL.
The Hollywood Reporter writes:
"Among adults 18-49, the 25 markets with Local People Meters gave the episode a 3.9 rating. The last episode of SNL to perform so well in the key demo, outside of NFL boosts, was when Timberlake hosted the 2011 season finale to a 4.5 adults 18-49 rating."
If we're comparing SNL Christmas special ratings, the only one that comes close goes back to 2004 with Robert De Niro as host and Destiny's Child as musical guest.
In addition to many collaborating sketches that Timberlake and Fallon performed together, Fallon firmly stood without Timberlake in great sketches. One was a digital short about having to suffer through awkward sex when returning with a significant other to your childhood home. Another highlight was watching Fallon and Cecily Strong perform "Baby It's Cold Outside," which cleverly commentated on a man's commitment issues in a budding relationship.
Check out the latter sketch below: