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‘Good Morning America’ Bounces Back Against NBC’s ‘Today’

The sun is shining on ABC’s’ “Good Morning America” again – but it took a few quirks of TV measurement to spark the spate of good weather.

After ceding its status as the most-watched morning show in the U.S. to NBC’s “Today” program for the past seven weeks, “GMA” bounced back, winning the most viewers overall for the five days ending January 19.  “Today” continued its dominance, however, in the more important category, winning viewers between 25 and 54, the demographic coveted most by advertisers.

Good Morning America” attracted an average of 4.51 million viewers during the period, compared with 4.46 million for “Today” and 3.86 million for “CBS This Morning.”  The recent few weeks of results have changed the dynamic in morning TV. Season to date, “Today” has lured 16,000 more viewers than its ABC rival, its best margin among overall viewers compared to “GMA” since the 2011-2012 season.

But the statistics come with some caveats: None of the three morning broadcasts were rated on Monday due to the Martin Luther King holiday, and “Today” was pre-empted in some major markets due to local news coverage.

The results illustrate how an intense battle between two morning-TV institutions is growing even more so. “Today” has been the most-viewed show since former co-anchor Matt Lauer was ousted in late November, the result of NBC News discovering what it called “inappropriate” behavior on the job. Viewers are showing interest in the new anchor team of Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb, the first all-female lead team “Today” has had in its 66 years on air

The fight, which never ends, may flare in weeks to come. “Today” typically enjoys a viewership boost when NBC and other networks owned by NBCUniversal broadcast the Olympics games. NBCU will in early February start several weeks of Winter Olympics broadcasts from PyeongChang, South Korea. Guthrie, Kotb and “Today” colleague Al Roker are set to anchor the franchise’s flagship first two hours from South Korea during that time.

 

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