"Good Morning America" Sneaking Up On "Today"

The ratings gap between NBC's breakfast champ "Today" and ABC's resurgent "Good Morning America" has shrunk again.

Last week, with Bob Costas subbing for Matt Lauer, "Today" topped "Good Morning America" by just 630,000 viewers -- the closest margin between the two shows since 1996.

As "Today" celebrates its winning streak of six consecutive years in the top spot, it posted its lowest viewership since Labor Day week. "Today" has been the most-watched morning news program for 29 straight quarters -- the longest such winning streak on record.

Recently, "Good Morning America" has encroached on "Today's" dominance.

According to Nielsen data for the week ending Dec. 7, "Today" averaged 5.92 million viewers, down 8% from the same week last year, while "Good Morning America" averaged 5.29 million viewers, a 17% improvement. With an average of 2.67 million total viewers, CBS' "Early Show" remained well behind but was up 15% vs. last year.

In the key news demo of adults 25-54, "Today" led with a 2.7 rating and 21 share (down 8% in rating year to year), followed by "Good Morning America" with a 2.0/15 (up 18%) and "Early Show" with a 1.0/8 (up 3%).

In the Sunday morning public affairs derby, NBC's "Meet the Press with Tim Russert" celebrated its 10th anniversary by attracting 5.55 million viewers, 58% more than CBS' "Face the Nation" (3.50 million) and 65% more than ABC's "This Week" (3.35 million). "Fox News Sunday" averaged 1.78 million total viewers.

-- Reuters/Variety