Top of ‘Morning’ to ABC, but NBC nips at its heels

ABC’s “Good Morning America” captured the morning ratings crown for the sixth consecutive week and finished on top for the 38th time in 51 weeks, according to Nielsen fringe ratings for the week of Dec. 14-18. CBS, meanwhile, was again the top-rated daytime network.

“GMA” posted a 4.7/21 for the week, beating NBC’s “Today,” which finished with a 4.2/19, and “CBS This Morning’s” 3.1/14. ABC’s morning entry is also first among adults 18-49, finishing ahead of “Today” by two-tenths of a rating point and two share points and nine-tenths of a rating point and nine share points in front of “This Morning.”

However, for the first 12 weeks of the fourth quarter, the breakfastcast race is extremely close between ABC and NBC, with only a tenth of a ratings point separating the two. CBS, while up from a year ago, is firmly in third place, 1.4 rating points behind.

CBS’ daytime dramas were first for the week with a 6.2/21 in households to ABC’s 5.2/18 and NBC’s 3.6/12. Yet ABC owns the top slot when looking at the key women 18-49 demographic, where ABC is on top with a 4.3/27 to CBS’ 4.0/25.

For the fourth quarter CBS is first in households and ABC is first in the 18- 49 demographic.

The rankings stay the same when looking at the entire daytime lineup of the three networks, with CBS firmly on top in households and ABC ahead with women 18 -49. In households, CBS earned a 5.5/21; ABC a 4.6/17; and NBC a 2.9/11. ABC posted a 3.7/24 with women 18-49 to CBS’ 3.2/21 and NBC’s 1.8/22. Ratings for the fourth quarter are similar to those posted for the week.

ABC won the hearts of the nation’s kiddie viewers for the week. The web generated a 3.5/13 between 8 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Saturday to finish first. CBS was second with a 3.1/11 while NBC and Fox tied with a 2.9/11.

For the quarter, CBS is tops with a 3.2/12 with ABC and NBC tying for second with a 3.0/11 and Fox in fourth with a 2.9/11.

Despite the ongoing controversy about NBC’s “Tonight Show,” the program won the half-hour between 11:30 p.m. and midnight, beating ABC’s “Nightline” by a tenth of a ratings point (5.6/15 to a 5.5/15). The first half-hour of CBS’ “CrimeTime After PrimeTime” was third with a 3.0/8.

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