NBC’s "Saturday Night Live" parlayed some negative publicity into high ratings for last week’s show. Time magazine reports that the show hit a season high with its installment hosted by Kerry Washington, which aired just after an old controversy flared up anew over the sketch show’s lack of a black female cast member.
"Whether or not Washington’s Saturday appearance satisfied any of the show’s critics, it did accomplish one thing: The network has announced that the episode hit a ratings high for the season among metered-market viewing households, with the most viewers tuning in since Justin Timberlake’s appearance on the show in March," the story reports.
The piece adds: "In markets with Local People Meters — a newer TV-tracking device used in the 25 top markets — Miley Cyrus’ October appearance drew slightly more eyeballs."
The report also says: "Just days before it was announced that Washington would anchor the episode, with musical guest Eminem, ‘SNL’ cast member Kenan Thompson reignited a long-running debate over the lack of diversity on the show. In discussing his decision to no longer play female characters in sketches — a decision that, coupled with his colleague Jay Pharaoh’s similar feelings, meant that there would be no black female characters in any ‘SNL’ gags — Thompson said that there weren’t black female comedians auditioning for the show who were ‘ready’ for the gig; predictably, the many funny African-American women in the business (and their fans) were not happy about that."
Meanwhile, a video from the episode, prominently featuring Washington, has gone viral. The clip spoofs the recent hit song "The Fox (What Does the Fox Say?)." Here it is: