Ratings surged for the network morning shows in Nielsen daytime and fringe ratings for the second quarter, with ABC’s “Good Morning America” leading the charge.“GMA,” riding a 33-week win streak through the June 21-27 frame that concluded the quarter, finished the spring with an average 4.4 rating, 20 share, up 13% compared to last year. NBC’s “Today” (4.0/18) and “CBS This Morning” (2.8 /13) were also up 3% and 12%, respectively, resulting in an overall 9% increase of three-network viewing in the daypart. That’s impressive, particularly with the growing challenge from local shows such as the “KTLA Morning News” and “Good Day New York” on major independents. The picture wasn’t quite so rosy in daytime, where aggregate web viewing dropped 3%, with only ABC (4.8/18, up 12%) posting a year-to-year quarterly increase. Both of the other networks were down, with CBS — the household ratings leader for 225 weeks — falling 7% to an average 5.3/21, while NBC (2.7/10) slipped 16% and yielded two share points that were picked up by ABC. The Alphabet Web also widened its lead in the key ad sales demographic for the daypart, women age 18-49, with an average 3.9 rating (up 11%) to CBS’ 3 rating (down 12%) and NBC’s 1.7 (a 22% decline). In late night, “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” finished the spring with a 4. 7/15, its best quarterly results since Leno took over in May 1992. The show was buoyed in part by monster numbers for its “Cheers” finale but nevertheless enjoyed a solid quarter, topping “Nightline” (4.8/13) in their common half-hour with a 5.2/14. Those figures were also the same last week. The finale of “Late Night with David Letterman” posted a 6.2/26 on June 25 to rank as the third-highest-rated episode ever, lifting the show to a 3.5/17 for the week, its best since Johnny Carson’s final week as “Tonight” host in May ’92 . NBC’s new daytime lineup continued to struggle in its second outing, as the new shows “John & Leeza” and “Caesar’s Challenge” posted a 1.7/7 and 1.7/6, respectively. For the Par talker, that represented a slip from its 2.1/8 premiere, while Cannell’s “Caesar’s” posted a slight improvement. Averages for the June 21 week were slightly better than second-quarter tallies, with CBS at 5.6/21, followed by ABC (4.9/18) and NBC (2.8/10). The Fox Children’s Network was top dog in Saturday morning for the 20th consecutive week among children age 2-11, with a 4.2 rating to ABC’s 3.9 and a 3.7 for CBS. In households Fox delivered a 2.5/11 to CBS’ 2.4/11 and ABC’s 2.3/10. With NBA basketball over, no network averaged better than a 10 share with its weekend sports lineup.
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