TV Ratings: Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake Propel 'SNL' to 2-Year High

Early returns for the NBC show's final outing of the year also best every Christmas episode since 2004.
"Saturday Night Live"

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.