‘GMA’ leads ayem surge; ‘SNL,’ ‘Nightline’ high

NBC enjoyed a strong week with its late night lineup while the morning shows surged in Nielsen fringe ratings for Dec. 7-11–probably due to the military action in Somalia–with “Good Morning America” again edging “Today” as the top breakfastcast.

“The Tonight Show With Jay Leno” continued its slow build to post its best ratings since July — drawing a 4.9 rating, 15 share — while “Saturday Night Live” (9.8/27) delivered its best results since December 1984 with a Glenn Close-hosted installment.

The star of late night remained ABC’s “Nightline,” which ranked first in its common half-hour with “Tonight” and scored a 6.1/17 to capture its best weekly numbers since the week ending May 1.

ABC also won the morning race with a 4.8/21 to “Today’s” 4.6/20, while “CBS This Morning” (3.3/14) had its highest rating of the broadcast year. With only two weeks to go in the fourth quarter “GMA” holds a slight lead over “Today,” 4. 4/19 to 4.3/19, and the two tied for the most recent week with a 2 rating each among adults 18-49.

“GMA” seems to have met the challenge from NBC in the now neck-and-neck morning race and is up 7% for the fourth quarter despite the growth of “Today” and “CBS This Morning.” ABC has ranked first in that daypart (with occasional ties) 37 out of 50 weeks this season.

CBS ranked first in daytime for the 197th consecutive week and maintained its first-place Saturday-morning status in a competitive three-way race with ABC and the Fox Children’s Network.

In daytime averages CBS posted a 5.5/20 to ABC’s 4.7/17 and a 3.0/11 for NBC–the Peacock network buoyed by the highest rating for “Days of Our Lives” (5 .4/17) since July. ABC held a solid lead among the key sales demographic of women age 18-49 with a 3.9 average rating to CBS’ 3.2 and NBC’s 1.9, up from previous week.

CBS drew a 3.4/12 in households with its Saturday-morning fare to a 3.2/11 for ABC and Fox’s 2.9/10. The race shaped up similarly in that daypart’s key sales demo, children age 2-11, where CBS averaged a 6 rating to ABC’s 5.4 and a 5 for Fox. NBC’s Saturday edition of “Today” (3.1/12) also drew its best rating since its premiere in August.

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