One week after its Katie Couric guest-hosting stunt failed to get the job done, ABC’s “Good Morning America” finally achieved what it has been trying to achieve for 16 years: It beat NBC’s “Today” show in the weekly ratings, the Los Angeles Times reports.
The preliminary results indicate it’s the end of what has been described as the longest winning streak in TV history — “Today’s” 16-year domination of the weekly ratings for morning shows. As we reported recently, ABC has been closing the gap and had hoped that bringing Couric — a former “Today” co-host — aboard for a week would do the trick. As it turns out, it only took one extra week to reach the milestone — without Couric’s help.
The story reports: "’GMA,’ hosted by George Stephanopoulos and Robin Roberts, drew an average of 5,147,000 total viewers last week, just 13,000 more than ‘Today,’ according to Nielsen. While ‘GMA’ has beaten ‘Today’ before now on individual days, it hasn’t done so in the weekly averages since 1996.
Significantly, “GMA” was up 7% from the same week one year earlier, while “Today” was down 9%, the story notes.
The report notes that the margin is so narrow that it could be reversed when the numbers are adjusted later this week.
In a statement, “GMA” senior executive producer Tim Cibrowski said: “This is an exciting day, but we will save any celebrating for when the final numbers come in on Thursday."