Early ratings riser ‘GMA’ edges out Nielsen rivals

ABC’s “Good Morning America” won the breakfast race last week by .6 of a rating point and 2 share points, the program’s widest margin of victory since December 1991, according to A.C. Nielsen stats for the period.

However, seven weeks into the fourth quarter, “GMA” and NBC’s “Today” are in a dead heat for the breakfast-fare crown.

Meanwhile, CBS extended its win streak in the daytime hours to 193 weeks, although in the key 18-49 demographic the Eye web finished second to ABC.

“GMA” was first for the week with a 4.8/20, with “Today” second with a 4.2/18 and “CBS This Morning” 1.7 rating points behind with a 3.1/13.

CBS’ morning entry, while firmly in third place, is performing about 19% higher than the same week a year ago and is up 12% for the season compared to last season’s average. “Today” is up 8%.

“GMA” also captures the top spot in the morning hours among adults 18-49, posting a 1.9/20 for the week. “Today” earned a 1.8/20 and CBS generated a 1.1/ 12 among the same demographic.

Seven weeks into the season, “GMA” and “Today” are both supporting an average rating of 4.3/19 while “CBS This Morning” comes in with a 3.0/13.

CBS extended its daytime dominance, winning the week by a margin of 1.1/4 in household ratings. CBS posted a 5.8/21 for the week, ABC was second with a 4.7/ 17 and NBC ended the period with a 2.9/10. Among women 18-49, ABC was tops capturing a 3.8/24 to CBS’ 3.5/22.

To date, CBS maintains its lead with a 5.6/22 to ABC’s 4.5/17. NBC is averaging a 2.8/11.

As with the weekly numbers, ABC is leading in the key 18-49 women demographic for the season, averaging a 3.7/24. CBS is second with a 3.2/22 and NBC is averaging a 1.8/12.

CBS’ “The Young and the Restless” was the top daytime program for the week, followed by the same net’s “The Price Is Right.” ABC’s “All My Children” (up 5% from a year ago) was third, while CBS’ “As the World Turns” and “The Bold and the Beautiful” rounded out the top five.

In the Saturday morning children’s category, CBS was also first for the week between 8 a.m. and 1 p.m. and, when calculated, for the 10 a.m.-to-noon block. NBC was second for the week.

ABC, hampered by preemptions for college football games, was tied for third with Fox in the 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. block and a tenth of a point ahead of Fox when using the 10 a.m.-to-noon statistics.

NBC’s “The Tonight Show” is first between 11:30 p.m. and midnight with a 5.3/ 15 to ABC’s “Nightline,” which averaged a 5.1/14 for the week. CBS’ “Crimetime After Primetime” earned a 2.9/8 for the half-hour. For the full hour, “Crimetime” averaged a 2.7/9 for the week with “Tonight” on NBC accounting for a 4.6/15.

NBC’s “News at Sunrise” won its 29th consecutive early news crown with a 1.8/ 17, to beat ABC’s “World News This Morning” with a 1.6/16.

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