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NBC’s ‘Today’ ratings climb to new heights

Show nabs 5.3 rating, 24 share for week

NEW YORK – NBC’s “Today” continues to show no mercy to its struggling competitors.

Taking full advantage of a busy news frame, the morning juggernaut soared to what NBC is calling the highest rated summer week for any ayem show ever, according to Nielsen data for the week of Aug. 17-21 released Friday.

“Today” averaged a 5.3 rating/24 share for the week, a full 2.5 ratings points ahead of ABC’s “Good Morning America” (2.8/13). CBS’ “This Morning,” despite a weakened second-place competitor and an abundance of news, managed a weak 2.2/10.

The NBC ayemer attracted an average audience of 6.15 million viewers for the week, nearly 500,000 more than the 5.67 million who tuned into “GMA” and “This Morning” combined.

Compared to the same week a year ago, “Today” saw a 13% ratings spike, while “GMA” was down by an equal percentage. “This Morning” was even.

The Nielsen report, which was delayed by a day, covered the week in which President Clinton admitted to an improper relationship with Monica Lewinsky and the U.S. struck back against terrorist targets overseas.

In other fringe ratings news, ABC’s daytime dramas once again finished first among women 18-49, with the Alphabet web’s fledgling sudser “Port Charles” pulling back ahead of NBC’s newcomer “Sunset Beach” in the key demo and among total viewers. “PC” had fallen behind “Sunset” the previous week.

Each ratings point represents 980,000 TV homes. A share is the percentage of sets in use.

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