‘GMA’ energetic in ayem

Olympics set to boost 'Today'

ABC News’ “Good Morning America” continues to give ayem leader “Today” a run for its money — particularly in key demos.

“GMA” averaged 5.21 million viewers — a gap of only 870,000 behind front-runner NBC News’ “Today” (6.08 million) and the second smallest of the season, according to Nielsen numbers for the week ended Feb. 3. While “GMA” was up a dramatic 23% in total viewers, “Today,” which has held the first place title in the morning for 311 weeks, increased a meager 1% compared with the same week last year.

Olympics boost set

Of course, “Today” is poised to benefit from the Peacock’s telecast of the Winter Olympics, which begin tonight. The NBC News ayemcast will broadcast from Salt Lake City during the Games.

In the key news demo of adults 25-54, “GMA” gained 17% (2.1/15) and “Today” dipped 10% (2.6/19) from the same week last year. Frame marked the closest margin in the demo rating since the week of Sept. 1, 1997, and since Diane Sawyer and Charles Gibson began hosting the show — a gap that represents 620,000 viewers.

CBS News’ “The Early Show” averaged 2.76 million total viewers, a 2% dip from the same week last year, when the ayemcast was boosted by the Super Bowl and two episodes of “Survivor.” With a 1.0/8 among adults 25-54, “Early” dipped 17% from last year.

Meanwhile, with an average of 4.85 million viewers, NBC News’ “Meet the Press With Tim Russert” continued to lead the pack in the Sunday morning public affairs derby by a large margin. Boosted by an exclusive interview with Donald Rumsfeld, ABC’s “This Week” averaged 3.88 million, its highest total viewership for the season. CBS’ “Face the Nation” attracted 3.37 million, and Fox’s “News Sunday” averaged 1.79 million.

In latenight, CBS’ “Late Show With David Letterman” posted double-digit gains in adults 18-49 and 18-34. “Late Show” averaged 4.27 million viewers for the week, up 2% from last year. Among adults 18-34 (1.6/7) and adults 18-49 (1.9/8), the show gained 14% and 19%, respectively, compared with the same week last year. Among adults 25-54, “Late Show” was flat (1.9/8) from last year.

NBC’s “Tonight Show With Jay Leno” averaged 5.69 million viewers for the week, a dip of 7% from last year, and was down 10% in adults 18-34 (1.9/9) and 8% in adults 18-49 (2.3/10) compared with last season. Among adults 25-54, “Tonight” dropped 7% (2.7/11) from the same week last year.

‘Incorrect’ right with auds

ABC’s “Politically Incorrect With Bill Maher” delivered an average aud of 2.93 million viewers for the week, a 6% gain from last year. Show also jumped 7% (1.40 million) among adults 18-49 and 6% (1.49 million) among adults 25-54 compared with the same week last year.

Meanwhile, Britney Spears helped drive the Feb. 2 edition of “Saturday Night Live” to its highest adult 18-49 (5.0/21) and total viewer numbers (10.2 million) since the show’s season premiere on Sept. 29 — a gain of 12% among adults 18-49 and 19% among total viewers compared with the same week last year. Among women 18-34, “SNL” gained a staggering 49% (6.1/26) from last year.

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