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TV Column
Posted at 10:28 AM ET, 04/19/2012

‘Good Morning America’ beats ‘Today,’ take 2


Robin Roberts appears on “Good Morning America.” (Charles Sykes - AP)

Turns out, ABC’s “Good Morning America” beat NBC’s “Today” show last week by 31,000 viewers, not 13,000, Nielsen reported Thursday morning.

As previously reported, last week, “GMA” beat “Today,” ending the NBC morning infotainment show’s more than 16-year record as the weekly ratings winner.

The 31,000 gap is Nielsen’s final word on the week’s ratings; the 13,000 gap had been based on early stats Nielsen had issued Monday, triggering happy dancing at ABC News — privately, though not publicly, the show’s exec producer saying they’d “save any celebrating for when the final numbers come in on Thursday.”

Which, they did.

The biggest change in the Nielsen stats were Wednesday’s”GMA” ratings. That day’s program — featuring an interview with ABC’s daytime darling Sherri Shepherd, the surprise elimination from ABC’s primetime “Dancing With the Stars” competition the previous night — attracted about 400,000 more viewers than “Today” (which limped along with its lead anchor, Matt Lauer, on vacation.)

“GMA’s” audience last Wednesday was, in fact, the show’s biggest in about a year — since the Monday morning after the killing of Osama bin Laden.

We’ll get back to you when we figure out the larger meaning of that factoid.

In the meantime, public celebrating erupted Thursday at ABC News. “All of us at ABC News salute the dynamic team at ‘Good Morning America’ who never sleep and who care so deeply about the program,” ABC news president Ben Sherwood said in a statement.

“Of course, we congratulate our friends at ‘Today’ for the greatest winning streak in broadcasting history and for their excellence and leadership during this historic run,” he continued, adding, “ It’s a special day for ABC News and, after a proper celebration 852 weeks in the making, we’ll get right back to work to be ready tomorrow to help ‘GMA’ viewers start their day with a rewarding experience and big picture understanding of the world.”

Friday on “GMA”: Matthew Broderick will discuss his new Broadway play, “Nice Work if You Can Get It”; Melissa Rycroft — who famously got dumped by Bachelor Jason Mesnick, after he’d named her his Most Favorite Of the Dating Pool, in order to hook up with the runner-up — will discuss post-paretm depression, and her new reality series “Melissa & Tye”; and chef Emeril Lagasse will presumably talk about cooking.

By  |  10:28 AM ET, 04/19/2012

 
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