Once again, ‘GMA’ rules the morning

ABC’s “Good Morning America” took the household ratings crown for the fourth consecutive year, winning 48 weeks (including three ties), the three major sweeps months and all four quarters.

For the year, “GMA” averaged a 4.4/20, followed by NBC’s “Today” with 4.1/19 and “CBS This Morning” at 2.9/13.

“GMA” also had key demographic victories with women 18-49 and 25-54 while tying for first with “Today” among adults 25-54 during the year.

Good quarter for ‘Today’

In the fourth quarter, however, “Today” swept key demo groups. It captured a victory among adults 25-54 — a 2.1 vs. “GMA’s” 2.0 — for the first time since people meters were introduced in 1987.

“Today” won for the first time in any quarter with women 25-54 (2.6 vs. “GMA’s” 2.5). The show also was victorious with adults 18-49 (1.8 vs. “GMA’s” 1. 7).

But “GMA” was the only morning program to register a household ratings gain — 2% to 4.5/20 — over the fourth quarter of 1992. “Today” slipped 2% during the quarter to 4.2/18 and the CBS morning news show was flat.

During the holiday-impacted Dec. 20-24 period, the Nielsen daytime and fringe ratings report showed the Alphabet web breakfastcast grabbing a 4.4/19, “Today” pulling a 4.1/18 and CBS trailing with a 3.2/13.

Dominant Dave

In latenight, CBS’ “Late Show With David Letterman” again outperformed all competition during the week, building its season-to-date lead to 5.4/18 vs. a 4. 9/15 for ABC’s “Nightline” and a 4.3/13 for NBC’s “Tonight Show With Jay Leno.”

Letterman posted his 17th consecutive win over Leno during the week, with a 6 .0/17 vs. 5.1/14 (both Monday-Thursday averages), and beat “Nightline” for the 13th time in 14 weeks.

“Tonight,” however, came away with its best ratings since the “Cheers” finale week of May 17. Excluding that inflated week, Leno grabbed his best household average since the corresponding year-end week a year earlier.

In head-to-head competition during the first half hour Tuesday-Thursday, the “Late Show” earned a 6.7/17 compared with a 5.8/15 for “Tonight” and 5.5/14 for “Nightline” (which saw its average drop to a 4.8/14 for the entire week, including Christmas Eve when the talkshows werepreempted for holiday specials).

Fox Broadcasting’s latenight duo of “Code 3” and “In Living Color” averaged a 2.8/7 over four nights (excluding Thursday).

“Late Night With Conan O’Brien” pulled a 1.9/9 for its best rating since the week of Nov. 22 and best demo mark (1.1) among adults 18-49 since its second week on the air.

CBS extended its daytime winning streak to 251 weeks with “The Young and the Restless” (8.4/26) once again the top-rated series.

For the week, CBS averaged a 6.6/21 vs. ABC’s 5.2/16 and NBC’s 3.4/11 — the Peacock web’s best household rating since the week of Aug. 16 and best women 25- 54 mark (2.0) since the week of June 28.

NBC’s “John & Leeza” (2.2) — soon to be just “Leeza”– and the canceled gameshow “Caesars Challenge” (1.7) earned their best home ratings since the week of Sept. 6.

With viewing levels among kids 2-11 down almost 40% and persons 6-17, or “tweens,” down nearly 30% on Christmas Day, the normally top-rated Fox Children’s Network took a beating with its special Saturday holiday fare.

ABC, led by the strong performance of a two-hour “Disney’s Parade” special, easily won the Saturday household and key demographics race. The web claimed a 4 .2/35 among children 2-11, a 4.4/17 household mark and 3.2/22 with tweens.

FCN finished second with kids 2-11, earning a 2.9/17, and tweens (2.6/18), but finished last in the household race with a 2.1/8 behind CBS (2.5/10) and NBC (2.3/9).

NBC claimed the 10 a.m. to noon Saturday female teen crown in the fourth quarter with a 3.5 average.

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