Morning Glory: 'GMA' Tops 'Today'

Good-Morning-AmericaABC had a very good year in 2012 for "Good Morning America" -- usurping the decades-long leader NBC's "Today."

Going into the December holiday period -- where all TV viewing takes a dip -- ABC's "GMA" had around a 430,000-viewer lead over "Today." (It had been as high at 600,000 or more in recent weeks.) For the week ending December 10, "GMA" was pulling in 5.09 million total viewers and NBC's "Today" was at 4.66 million, with CBS's "CBS This Morning" at 2.63 million.

The race for key 25-54 viewers that advertisers seek for these shows was a lot closer. For the week ending Dec. 10, ABC's "GMA" averaged 1.89 million 25-54 viewers with NBC's "Today" at 1.86 million -- a difference of some 25,000 key viewers. CBS' "CBS This Morning" was further back at 993,000.



In April, "GMA" scored its first weekly win over "Today" in total viewers in 16 years. Then in July, it registered a win among 25-54 viewers. Finally, in the key November sweep period, "GMA" won in both categories for the first time in 20 years.

In response, NBC's "Today" changed executive producers this season and on-talent this year. In recent weeks, the show has recovered somewhat.

Season-to-date, "GMA" is up 5% in total viewers and 3% higher in 25-54 viewers. NBC is down 16% in total viewers and 23% off its 25-54 numbers. CBS is up 4% in total viewers, and down 3% in 25-54 viewers.

By way of comparison -- looking at a year ago -- NBC "Today" was solidly in the driver's seat.

For the week of Nov. 28, 2011, "Today" was at 5.5 million total viewers; "GMA" at 4.9 million; and CBS morning show -- then called "The Early Show" -- was at 2.5 million. NBC was also comfortably ahead of ABC in the 25-54 race with "Today" at 2.4 million; "GMA" at 1.96 million; and "Early" with 993,000.


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