‘Good Morning America’ vs. ‘Today’: Which Show Gets Better Ratings?
Every morning, ABC, NBC, and CBS all compete for your attention with dueling morning shows, each of which has gone through some pretty dramatic changes over the past year or so. So with those changes in mind, which morning show is currently at the top of the pack?
As of right now, in terms of total viewers, there are currently more people watching Good Morning America than watching Today. Just last week, for instance, GMA attracted an average of 3.7 million viewers, while Today attracted 3.5 million viewers, according to Ad Week.
However, where Today has the advantage is in the 25 to 54 demographic. Among viewers within that age range, Today tends to narrowly edge out GMA. Last week, 1.17 million people between the ages of 25 and 54 watched Today, while 1.12 people in that age range watched Good Morning America.
Meanwhile, CBS This Morning isn’t even really in the same conversation as GMA and Today. Last week, CBS This Morning averaged 2.8 million total viewers, meaning about 900,000 fewer people tuned in than tuned in to GMA.
These numbers are just from last week, but they’re in line with the trend we’ve been seeing for the past several months. GMA ended Q2 2018 as the most-watched morning news show, with an average of 4.1 million viewers compared to Today‘s 3.9 million and CBS This Morning‘s 3.1 million. However, Today finished with the better numbers in the 25 to 54 demographic: 1.3 million compared to ABC’s 1.2 million.
During Q1 2018, though, Today actually defeated GMA both in terms of raw viewers and in the 25 to 54 demographic, although it was a very narrow victory. For that quarter, Today averaged 4.29 million viewers, while GMA averaged 4.28.
This was the second quarter in a row in which Today beat GMA. Interestingly, NBC’s wave of success started fairly soon after Matt Lauer departed the network in disgrace. Today began coming out on top in terms of raw viewers almost immediately after Hoda Kotb took Lauer’s seat, and it soon became clear that this wasn’t just a matter of viewers temporarily tuning in to see how the scandal was addressed, as for months afterward, there was a serious battle between GMA and Today.
Since then, GMA has mainly regained its position as the top show in terms of raw viewers, but the show’s lead isn’t monumental.
It’s worth noting, though, that every morning show is down in the ratings overall. This past month, for instance, all three of the big morning shows saw losses compared to July of last year, mainly in the 25 to 54 demographic. Among viewers in that age range, GMA was down seven percent, Today was down eight percent, and CBS was down 13 percent.
It was amid its struggle for ratings domination that GMA made some changes to its cast earlier this year, with Lara Spencer cutting back her time on the show and with Amy Robach leaving to become the co-anchor of 20/20. At the time, The New York Post reported that ABC was deciding to focus on its “winning team” of anchors in light of its ratings battle with Today.
Additionally, ABC recently announced that GMA would be expanding into a third hour, as Today did years ago; this third hour will air at 1:00 p.m. and will be hosted by Michael Strahan and Sara Haines.