Who needs the “live” part of “Saturday Night Live?”
The Dec. 21 telecast of “SNL,” with host Jimmy Fallon and musical guest Justin Timberlake, generated the show’s largest-ever ratings increase in the advertiser-coveted 18-49 demographic and in total viewers from “live plus same day” to “live plus seven day.”
In the key demo, the installment grew by 1.83 rating points, to a 5.55 rating from a 3.72. In total viewers, the increase was 3.673 million persons, to 13.117 million from 9.444 million.
It probably did not hurt that Dec. 21 was the Saturday before Christmas, when many likely chose to party-and-DVR (or view on-demand), instead of watching the show’s live run.
These numbers also represent the show’s top L+7 results in three years, since the Jan. 8, 2011 edition with host Jim Carrey and musical guest The Black Keys, (5.79 in 18-49, 13.166 million viewers overall), which followed an NFL Wildcard overrun.
Excluding NFL nights, these are the sketch comedy mainstay’s best L+7 figures since May 8, 2010 with host Betty White and musical guest Jay-Z (5.97 in 18-49, 14.952 million viewers overall).
The next live “SNL” episode will be Jan. 18, with host and musical guest Drake. The show will also represent the debut of new cast member Sasheer Zamata, whose hire is the result of months of controversy over a lack of diversity in the cast. Zamata’s status was announced on Monday, following a series of somewhat hush-hush auditions for African-American women.