‘GMA’ Tops ‘Today’ in May for First Time in Nearly 20 Years

Month was also good for CBS, whose morning shows draws its largest audience since 1994

ABC’s “Good Morning America” has made it a clean sweep of the season’s sweep months, winning May’s morning news ratings race in total viewers by a record margin.

GMA,” which surpassed NBC’s “Today” as the top-rated ayem program last summer, has won every week of the September-May broadcast season that ended last week. It captured the May sweep in total viewers for the first time in 18 years, and it led in adults 25-54 for the first time in 19 years.

Also gaining ground on “Today” in May was CBS’ third-place “CBS This Morning,” as the net’s morning news program had its most-watched May in since 1994.

Looking at the numbers, Nielsen estimates that “Good Morning America” averaged 5.704 million viewers for the May sweep (April 25-May 22), nearly 1 million viewers more than NBC’s “Today” (4.783 million), with the former up 10% from last year and the latter down 8%.

GMA” was also up a bit from its February sweep average to draw its largest overall sweep audience in any month since  since at least 1991 (as far as Nielsen records go back).

“CBS This Morning” gained about 475,000 viewers (19%) to 3.004 million — its biggest year-to-year gain in the May sweep in more than 20 years and the first time the show has hit 3 million since 1994. Its deficit relative to “Today” (1.78 million) is also the smallest CBS has seen in 19 years.

“Today” continues to hang in there relative to “GMA” better in the key news demo of adults 25-54, where it trailed by 111,000 viewers (2.102 million to 1.992 million), with the ABC show up 2% and the NBC one down 12%. The shows were also neck and neck in adults 18-49, so it’s clear that much of “GMA’s” advantage overall is coming from viewers 50 and older.

“GMA” has now shown year-over-growth in adults 25-54 for three straight May sweeps, and the 2.102 million viewers in the demo is the program’s best delivery in seven years.

Season to date, “Good Morning America” has won all 34 weeks in total viewers and is up 8% over last year (5.327 million to 4.936 million). “Today” is down 13% to 4.679 million, and “CBS This Morning” is up 11% to 2.797 million.

“GMA” has won 28 of 34 weeks in adults 25-54, and has a narrow advantage of about 75,000 viewers for the season over “Today” (2.004 million to 1.928 million). “CBS This Morning” is up 1% to 1.044 million.

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