NBC show still leads morning news ratings race in key demo

Two weeks after breaking through with its first morning news ratings victory in 16 years, ABC’s “Good Morning America” was back on top again last week.

Nielsen estimates that “GMA” averaged 5.311 million viewers for the April 23-27 frame, topping NBC’s “Today” by a wider margin (180,000 viewers) than a couple of weeks earlier (31,000). “Today” captured the week in between (April 16-20) by 143,000.

Next hurdle for “GMA” to clear is finishing on top in adults 25-54, the demo that’s a key measuring stick for setting ad rates and a category that remains in “Today’s” corner.

Last week, though, “GMA” (2.129 million) pulled to within 104,000 adults 25-54 of “Today” (2.233 million) — the smallest advantage for the NBC program since the last week of November 1995. And the ABC program finished on top Tuesday, marking the first single day it has won in the demo in nearly four years.

Season to date, “GMA” is the only broadcast morning program to grow in total viewers (+4%) and adults 25-54 (+8%), seeing its largest average audience in six years. “Today” is off 3% and 8%, respectively, while ayem laggard “This Morning” on CBS has declined by about 10% in both categories.

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