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Katie Couric vs. NBC, Round One: Numbers Are In for Monday's 'GMA' Appearance LA Times

Former “Today” co-host Katie Couric is going head-to-head with her old show this week in a closely watched ratings showdown that has high stakes for NBC and ABC. The numbers are in for her first day as guest co-host on ABC’s “Good Morning America,” and Couric fell short in Monday’s ratings, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Couric’s “GMA” telecast pulled in 4.8 million viewers, shy of the 5.1 million for NBC’s “Today.”

The gap may get even wider when numbers surface tomorrow for Tuesday morning’s showdown, when NBC pulled out all the stops by booking Sarah Palin as a guest host.

Couric, who is preparing to roll out her own ABC talk show later this year, will have a few more chances to help “GMA” -- she’s booked to remain on the morning show all week.

As we reported previously, “Today’s” long winning streak in the morning daypart is the stuff of TV history. But many observers were predicting a big bump for “GMA” -- possibly to No. 1 -- with Couric sitting in this week.

The Times report notes: "’GMA’ has toiled as No. 2 to ‘Today’ for nearly 17 years, but lately it's been closing the ratings gap. ‘Today,’ meanwhile, is on the verge of reshuffling its talent deck, with co-host Ann Curry rumored to be headed for the exits and a possible role for ‘American Idol's’ Ryan Seacrest, with whom NBC is wrapping up a major deal.”