‘Today’ election winner in ratings

NBC’s “Today” emerged as the big winner of election week, Nov. 2-6, in daytime and fringe ratings, pulling its best Nielsen survey in more than three years.

The NBC breakfastcast tallied a 5.0 rating, 21 share and has now been in first place in its neck-and-neck battle with ABC’s “Good Morning America” (4.7/ 19) for 13 of the last 16 weeks. “CBS This Morning” (3.2/13) also benefited from election tune-in, while averages among adults 18-49 were NBC, 2.2; ABC, 1.9; CBS , 1.1.

NBC has started talking tough in regard to the morning battle, having trailed “GMA” for more than two years before pulling into its current position.

The choice is a little less clear through six weeks of the fourth quarter, where averages show NBC with a 4.4/20 to ABC’s 4.3/19 and CBS at a 3.0/13.

“Nightline” (5.3/15) also benefited from election interest, although “The Tonight Show With Jay Leno” (5.5/15 from 11:30 to midnight, 4.6/14 overall) showed minor improvement. CBS’ “Crime Time” (3.0/10) also improved slightly over the prior week, with all show averages for four nights due to election coverage.

CBS, meanwhile, ran its daytime winning streak to 192 weeks, with a 5.9/21 vs. ABC’s 4.7/17 and a 3.0/10 for NBC, as all three webs were up in rating over the prior week. ABC led among women age 18-49, where the averages were ABC, 3.9; CBS, 3.3; NBC, 1.8.

“Days of Our Lives” (4.9/16), just renewed for another three years, was NBC’s highest-rated program, ranking 10th behind six CBS shows and ABC’s trio of soaps.

Saturday morning remains a tight three-way battle, with ABC and CBS deadlocked among children age 2-11, with a 5.7 rating each, followed closely by the Fox Children’s Network (5.3).

ABC’s 3.4/12 led in households, while CBS and Fox each averaged a 3.1/11, according to ABC research. NBC suffered low clearances due to Notre Dame football and averaged a 2.8/10 in households, including Saturday “Today,” reaching 78% of the country with its lineup compared to a minimum of 92% for its three rivals.

The Peacock web did get its highest-rated Notre Dame game since early in the season but still trailed ABC’s regional college football doubleheader. NBC also tackled a solid 15.8/31 with its afternoon pro football game but drew just a 7.9 /19 with its morning gridcast, compared to CBS’ 13.8/33.

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