After 36 years of overseeing “Saturday Night Live” you would think Lorne Michaels has done it all–or is so hands-off now that another producer would be making decisions. But it was Michaels who made the call in 2011 when Linkin Park sought to have its second performance of the night broadcast in black and white, the first act to ever do so on “SNL.” The show’s musical performances, from its opening episode with Billy Preston and Janis Ian to the recent Lana Del Rey appearance, generate water-cooler conversations and sales spikes at retail. “SNL,” with music booker Brian Siedlecki, has played a role in the recent successes of Adele, the Black Keys, Nicki Minaj and Arcade Fire. More than 6 million viewers tuned in for the Christmas episode with Michael Bublé, a Kelly Clarkson appearance and the 2010-11 finale with Justin Timberlake and Lady Gaga, according to Nielsen. “Fallon,” booked by Jonathan Cohen, is one more arrow in Michaels’ musical quiver. Featuring acts on their way up, including Odd Future and Bon Iver, the show has also devoted weeks to the music of the Rolling Stones and Pink Floyd. Last year “Fallon” hit No. 1 in its time slot with an average audience of 1.8 million.
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