‘GMA’ tops ‘Today’ in demo for first time since ’95

NBC show riding Olympics to win this week

It’s official: ABC’s “Good Morning America” has climbed to the top of the ayem ratings mountain.

After beating NBC’s “Today” in total viewers for four weeks, the Alphabet show last week prevailed outright in both overall audience and adults 25-54 — its first such parlay in 880 weeks.

During the week of July 23-27, according to Nielsen, “GMA” averaged 1.85 million adults 25-54 to 1.84 million for “Today,” a narrow victory after a dead heat between the shows one week earlier. In total viewers, the ABC program won by a more comfortable margin, 4.84 million to 4.30 million.

The demo victory is the first for “GMA” since September 1995, and the five-week winning streak in total viewers is the longest for the ABC show since an eight-week stretch in the spring of 1994.

ABC notes that this is the first time since the 1992 Barcelona Games that “GMA” has won in both the demo and total viewers in the week that included the opening day of the Olympics.

NBC, which has dominated every daypart since the Olympics started, is rolling to victory in the morning race for the current week, leading by about 1.4 million viewers through Wednesday. But in a sign that “Today” has lost some of its mojo, its overall audience for the first three days of this week was down 15% vs. the comparable period during the Beijing Games while “GMA’s” audience rose 9%.

NBC’s latenight shows benefited from airing last Friday following the massively rated Opening Ceremonies, which drew more than 40 million viewers.

“The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” drew its largest adults 18-49 audience for any night (2.15 million) since September 2010 (following a football game) and its biggest overall audience (5.35 million) since Leno’s first week back in March 2010. And “Late Night With Jimmy Fallon” drew its largest audience (2.62 million) since the opening night of the Vancouver Games in February 2010.

Both shows are on hiatus until after the Olympics.

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