Host star power is key in drawing viewers to Saturday Night Live. The venerable late-night show proved it this weekend when it was hosted by Josh Hutcherson, known primarily for his role in the Hunger Games franchise. But while the second movie in the franchise was setting box office ratings, SNL with Hutcherson was soft. Despite him being one of the youngest hosts to take the SNL stage (he just turned 21), the Saturday show only drew a 2.0 rating in adults 18-49 in the 25 markets with people meters, down 23% from last week when Lady Gaga was emcee/musical guest and a season low. In the metered markets, SNL with host Hutcherson and musical guest Haim averaged a 4.1 rating, down 14% from last week and the second lowest result for the season behind the October 26 show hosted by Ed Norton. For comparison, the hosting stint of Hutcherson’s Hunger Games co-star Jennifer Lawrence last season delivered a 4.9 in HH and 2.8 in 18-49.
Hunger Games: Catching Fire star Josh Hutcherson wasn’t even alive in the ’80s, but the mullet fit as he lip-synched The Outfield’s 1985 chart-topper “Your Love” in one of Saturday Night Live‘s better, and least explainable, sketches. (He did go ’90s retro in his 2012 indie Detention.) Elsewhere in the night Hutcherson’s highlights included a Hunger Games-themed monologue as well as him playing the straight man to Beck Bennett’s office boss-in-a-baby-body and his brief turn as a special correspondent in Mike O’Brien’s Bugs skit. Maybe a Horrible Bosses sequel is in this kid’s future – or Anchorman 3? Weigh in on the clips below.
Saturday Night Live with host and musical guest Lady Gaga last night averaged a 4.9/12 in the metered market households, matching the season high result of the last original hosted by Kerry Washington with musical guest Eminem. In the 25 markets with Local People Meters, last night’s SNL logged a 2.6/12 in adults 18-49, also even with the Washington-Eminem episode and off a tenth this season’s high posted by the season premiere hosted by Tina Fey and the Miley Cyrus episode. Here are two more highlights from last night’s show: a Kim Kardashian-Kanye West morning show and a skit featuring Gaga as an overzealous stage mother.
What will Lorne Michaels come up with next in his effort to put the kibosh on the weekly casting embarrassment that is Saturday Night Live? This is shaping up as one of the NBC late-night show’s more fun seasons to watch, as Michaels alternately snarks and hand-wrings about the show’s cast-diversity kerfuffle, since announcing the latest crop of new performers.
Over the weekend Michaels made it tough for another black woman to guest-host the sketch comedy show this season, after using Scandal star Kerry Washington like a sock puppet to deliver his latest “nuts to you” response to critics. Too bad, because there’s no one on staff to play FLOTUS, Oprah, Nicki Minaj, Beyonce, etc. now that cast member Kenan Thompson isn’t doing drag.
Lady Gaga and Josh Hutcherson will guest host Saturday Night Live during the November sweep. November 16 will mark Gaga’s first appearance as host — she’ll also be the musical guest that night, which comes five …
Catch up on the best of this week’s Deadline TV coverage:
Tina Fey & Amy Poehler To Return As Golden Globes Hosts In 2014 And 2015
By Nellie Andreeva – Tina Fey and Amy Poehler have closed deals to host the next two Golden Globe Awards, starting with the January 12, 2014 ceremony.
Zooey Deschanel Producing Comedy Projects For Fox And NBC
By Nellie Andreeva – New Girl star Zooey Deschanel and her producing partner, Rivka Sophia Rossi, have sold two projects under their first-look deal with 20th Century Fox TV.
Alex Kurtzman & Roberto Orci Team With Nick Santora & Justin Lin For CBS Put Pilot, Sell CW Terrorist Drama
By Nellie Andreeva – Three years after the end of Numbers, CBS is high on another drama procedural with a genius at the center.
‘SNL’ Camp’s Latest Theory On New Cast: Black Comediennes Aren’t “Ready”
By Lisa De Moraes – Saturday Night Live has spent a considerable amount of energy lately explaining away its lack of cast diversity, since announcing the latest crop of white performers to be added to the show.
UPDATED, 9:45 AM: Kerry Washington found herself in the middle of Saturday Night Live’s new-cast kerfuffle this morning when the NBC late-night show announced it had booked her to make her hosting debut on November 2. SNL may have first approached ABC’s Scandal star last season, and booked her weeks ago, but the timing of SNL‘s announcement raised eyebrows this morning, putting her at the epicenter of the latest media storm over SNL’s performers. In case you were off the grid yesterday, SNL cast member Kenan Thompson made some news when he told TV Guide that, yes, it’s the show’s sixth consecutive year without a black female cast member because, turns out, there are just no black female comics out there who are qualified for the gig. “It’s just a tough part of the business,” Thompson said. “Like in auditions, they just never find ones that are ready.” When asked how the show plans to handle any spoofs of black female celebrities (a FLOTUS gag, maybe?) Thompson responded, “I don’t know. We just haven’t done them. That’s what I’m saying. Maybe [Jay Pharoah] will do it or something, but even he doesn’t really want to do it.”
Maybe they can do a FLOTUS sketch on November 2!
Thompson’s interview managed the impossible, driving from the media’s mind all thought of Miley Cyrus’ turn as Twerking Michele Bachmann on SNL’s second episode this season, as their attention returned to the casting controversy that made headlines when the show’s newbies were unveiled. While there is some diversity among the newcomers (Noel Wells, for instance is half-Tunisian/Hispanic), critics complain they’re too white — and especially lacking in black comediennes, which, the press in numbers pointed out yesterday, continues SNL‘s dismal track record on that score. Washington, who plays a hot-shot Washington, D.C. “fixer” having an affair with POTUS on ABC’s Shonda Rhimes hit Scandal, is known to be pretty outspoken and may wind up weighing in on the subject. Or not. If she doesn’t, there’s always Eminem, who’s returning for his sixth appearance as SNL’s musical guest that night.
Saturday Night Live has spent a considerable amount of energy lately explaining away its lack of cast diversity, since announcing the latest crop of white performers to be added to the show. In the recent season debut, they devoted a whole sketch to the subject. Kenan Thompson played host of a game show called “New Cast Member Or Arcade Fire,” and Tina Fey played a contestant trying to guess, for every couple trotted out, which was the new SNL cast member and which was a member of that week’s musical act. When the last couple stumped her, SNL exec producer Lorne Michaels was brought onstage to deliver the punchline/message: Unable to pinpoint which was his new hire, he looked at Thompson and snarked, “Is it the black one?” The show writers forgot to write Thompson some snappy comeback line — instead making a 90-degree turn in which Fey delivered the line, “Do I win anything?” and Thompson replied, like he meant it to sting, “Don’t you have enough?”
Today, poor Thompson got dragged back into the debate — he’s the guy elected to tell TV Guide it’s the shortcoming of black comediennes that’s to blame for SNL’s cast non-diversity. Yes, it’s the show’s sixth consecutive year without a black female cast member. But, turns out, there are just no black female comics out there who are qualified for the gig. “It’s just a tough part of the business,” Thompson says. “Like in auditions, they just never find ones that are ready.” Asked how the show plans to handle any spoofs of black female celebrities, or, say, a FLOTUS gag this season, Thompson responded, “I don’t know. We just haven’t done them. That’s what I’m saying. Maybe [Jay Pharoah] will do it or something, but even he doesn’t really want to do it.”
Funny, him bringing up Pharoah, who appears to have a different take on the root of the problem. He recently was quoted saying SNL should add Darmirra Brunson to the cast “because she’s black first of all, and she’s really talented…amazing,” and because “they need to follow up with it, like they said they were going to do last year” (emphasis mine). Brunson can be seen playing Drew in Tyler Perry’s OWN comedy Love Thy Neighbor, and a quick Google search reveals her list of celebrity impressions includes Beyonce, Kerry Washington, Lil’ Kim, Mariah Carey, Nicki Minaj, Oprah, Rihanna, and Wendy Williams.