Justin Timberlake has been the biggest Saturday Night Live ratings draw of the last decade. Jimmy Fallon is one of the most popular SNL alums whose frequent collaborations with Timberlake have created a slew of viral hits. It’s no surprise the teaming of the two last night brought SNL ratings gold. The Christmas edition hosted by Fallon and featuring musical guest (and sketch performer) Timberlake averaged a 6.3 household rating in Nielsen’s 56 metered markets and a 3.9/18 in adults 18-49 in the 25 markets with Local People Meters.
Those were SNL‘s highest ratings in both categories in nearly two years, since the Jan. 7. 2012 edition hosted by Charles Barkley with musical guest Kelly Clarkson (7.0, 4.1 in 18-49), which was buoyed by a big NFL primetime overrun. Taking football out of the equation, the Fallon-Timberlake show delivered the top SNL ratings in two and a half years, since the season finale on May 21, 2011, hosted by Timberlake and featuring musical guest Lady Gaga (7.0, 4.5 in 18-49). It was the top-rated SNL Christmas edition in nine years in the metered-market households, since the Dec. 18, 2004 telecast hosted by Robert De Niro with musical guest Destiny’s Child (6.6/16) and the highest rated Christmas show among 18-49 in the six-year history of Local People Meters. Fittingly, the two previous highest rated Christmas editions were hosted by Fallon (Dec. 17, 2011, 5.3, 3.0 rating in 18-49) and Timberlake (Dec. 16, 2006, 5.5).