'Saturday Night Live' Hits Season Highs With Jimmy Fallon

Saturday Night Live - Weekend Update Joke-Off - H 2011

Jimmy Fallon returned to his old late-night stomping grounds at Saturday Night Live and his effort -- complete with cameos from old friends -- translated into a season best in the ratings.

With Fallon at the helm and musical guest Michael Buble, the Christmas show dominated with a 5.3 rating in metered-market households, scoring the NBC series' highest rating in overnights since the season finale in May with Justin Timberlake and Lady Gaga. The Melissa McCarthy-hosted telecast in October is a close second in metered-market households with a 5.2.

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In the 25 markets with Local People Meters, SNL drew a 3.0 rating among adults 18-49, making it the top telecast of the night.

Compared with last year's Christmas episode, SNL posted an 8 percent improvement in metered-market households (5.3 vs. 4.9) and was up 3 percent in the Local People Meters (3.0 vs. 2.9).

Saturday's episode featured SNL alums like Tracy Morgan, Chris Kattan, Horatio Sanz, Amy Poehler, Tina Fey and Rachel Dratch, along with appearances by Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows star Jude Law during "Weekend Update" and Lorne Michaels. Sketches included a spoof of War Horse; a "Weekend Update" joke-off with Fey, Fallon, Poehler and Seth Meyers; and Regis Philbin on Today.

Charles Barkley kicks off 2012 as host of the Jan. 7 episode with musical guest Kelly Clarkson.