May 23, 2011 6:34am PT by Marisa Guthrie
'Saturday Night Live' Delivers Highest-Rated Finale in Seven Years
The 36th season finale of Saturday Night Live – featuring Justin Timberlake and Lady Gaga – was the highest metered-market household average for an SNL season-ender in seven years.
Last weekend’s finale averaged a 7.0 rating, 17 share in metered-market household averages, the best number since May 15, 2004 when Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen co-hosted and J-Kwon was the musical guest. That telecast also averaged a 7.0. Watch the best sketches here, including Timberlake, Andy Samberg and Lady Gaga's "Three-Way." Bradley Cooper also made an appearance on Weekend Update, Jimmy Fallon on the Barry Gibb Talk Show.
Additionally, the telecast was up 21 percent over last year’s finale, which featured Alec Baldwin and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. At the time, that finale was the highest rated in Nielsen’s metered markets in four years.
The last time an SNL season-ender hit a 7.0 household rating was in May 2000, when Jackie Chan hosted and Kid Rock was the musical guest. That show averaged a 7.3 rating in metered-market households.
Total viewer and demographic numbers will be released Thursday.