‘GMA’ stretches ratings lead

“Good Morning America” widened its lead over NBC’s “Today” in Nielsen daytime and fringe ratings for July 19-23, while “Nightline” scored its fourth consecutive household ratings win in latenight.

CBS’ daytime roster also ran its winning streak to 229 weeks with a strong household rating performance, averaging a 5.8 rating, 20 share, topping ABC (5.2 /18) and NBC (3.1/11).

ABC held the lead among women ages 18-49, with an average 4.0 rating to CBS’ 3.4 and NBC’s 1.9. The household figures mirror averages through four weeks of the third quarter.

“The Young and the Restless” (8.6/29) was first in terms of households, while “All My Children” was tops in the young women’s demo for the 34th consecutive week, with a 33 share in the 18-49 age bracket. All of ABC’s daytime programs are up compared to the same period in third quarter ’92.

“GMA,” meanwhile, took the breakfast battle with a 4.2/21, topping “Today” (3 .7/19) and “CBS This Morning” (2.6/13) in households and tying the NBC morning show among adults age 18-49.

The ABC show had a 34-week win streak snapped three weeks ago but has now won two consecutive frames and 36 of the last 37 weeks. The ABC and NBC shows nonetheless continue to run close, separated by only 0.2 of a rating point for the broadcast year beginning last September.

ABC claims win

ABC claimed a latenight win as well, thanks to “Nightline” (5.4/15), which topped “The Tonight Show With Jay Leno” (5.1/14 for its first half, 4.4/13 overall) in their common half-hour. “Tonight” did lead in key demographics.

The Fox Children’s Network led the way among children ages 2-11 Saturday morning with an average 4.6 rating to CBS’ 4.2 and ABC’s 4.0. In households, it was CBS and Fox with a 2.6/11 each from 8 a.m. to noon, followed by ABC (2.4/10 ).

FCN, CBS share sweeps

FCN tied CBS with a 4.2 rating each among kids for the July sweeps period, marking a 31% increase for Fox and 13% decline by CBS compared with July ’92. ABC was down 3%, to a 3.4, while NBC — which dropped animated fare in favor of teen-oriented live-action shows — gave up half of its children’s audience.

CBS’ “Diehard 500” race was the top-rated sports program of the weekend with a 5.4/16, followed, surprisingly, by the Eye web’s 4.6/13 for an hour of Tour de France coverage and the baseball game of the week (4.5/14).

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