Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake closed out 2013 for Saturday Night Live with a ratings surge. In a lift that has become expected for the musical guest's many collaborations with the NBC series, SNL delivered its best numbers in nearly two years.
The Dec. 21 episode averaged a 6.3 rating and 16 share among households in Nielsen's 56 metered markets. The last time the series approached such a high was the Jan. 7, 2012, episode that saw host Charles Barkley get a significant lead-in from an NFL overrun.
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.
The last time a Christmas episode of SNL performed so well was the 2004 telecast hosted by Robert De Niro, with musical guest Destiny's Child.