‘Saturday Night Live’ Ratings Surge with Justin Timberlake

Saturday's telecast is more than 20% bigger than any 'SNL' this season among young adults

Justin Timberlake in "Saturday Night Live"

Justin Timberlake brought sexy ratings back to NBC’s  “Saturday Night Live,” with his fifth turn hosting the latenight show producing its top overnight rating in 14 months.

Saturday’s telecast of “SNL,” in which Timberlake served as both host and musical guest, averaged a 5.9 household rating/15 share in Nielsen’s metered markets, topping the season’s previous high by 9% (5.4 for the Oct. 20 edition with Bruno Mars as host and musical guest). It was also up nearly 40% vs. the comparable telecast of last year.

In the 25 markets with Local People Meters, Saturday’s telecast averaged a 3.7 rating — well above the season’s previous high of 3.0 (set on two occasions). The 3.7 rating would also rank it above all but a handful of primetime broadcast series for the week.

The last edition of “SNL” to rate higher than Timberlake’s fifth hosting gig on the show was the Jan. 7, 2012 telecast featuring Charles Barkley as host and Kelly Clarkson as musical guest (which benefited from a huge lead-in on the night for NBC’s coverage of an NFL playoff game).

Saturday’s installment featured appearances by Dan Aykroyd, Alec Baldwin, Candice Bergen, Chevy Chase, Tom Hanks, Steve Martin, Martin Short and Paul Simon — all of whom have also hosted “SNL” at least five times.

The next original installment of “SNL” is April 6, with Melissa McCarthy hosting for the second time.