The Washington Post

‘Today’ takes Thursday, hangs on to 16-year weekly ratings record

Katie Couric clocked 4.63 million viewers guest-anchoring ABC’s “Good Morning America” Thursday, while NBC’s “Today” show averaged 5.073 million.

The score so far this week: “Today” has taken Monday, Tuesday and Thursday while Katie claimed Wednesday

Among the 25-54 year old viewers who are the currency of news programming, “GMA” averaged 1.864 million viewers Thursday, while “Today” scored 2.091 million. That’s a gap of 228,000 viewers, which is the week’s smallest.

Katie’s been guest-anchoring “GMA” all this week, to fill in for vacationing Robin Roberts, and to begin warming up daytime viewers for the launch of her syndicated talk show this fall. “Today” show called

With just one day’s numbers to factor in – those for Friday — it looks as though “Today” will prevail, and Katie’s week-long guest gig will not mark the end of “Today’s” more than 16-year record as the weekly ratings winner among morning infotainment shows, as many had forecast. “Today” has seen its ratings lead over “GMA” whittled away to as few as 119,000 viewers just last week. That’s compared to the nearly half a million viewer lead it enjoyed over “GMA” same time last year.

Through Thursday, “Today” enjoyed a 258,000 viewer lead over “GMA” for the week.

“Today” was taking no chances Friday, pulling out all the stops to make sure it took the day. Matt Lauer announced he’d re-signed with “Today” (after which Al Roker gushed, “Thank goodness because it was either you or Keith Olbermann!”). The show also featured an interview with famous-for-being-famous Kim Kardashian (whose E! show is, BTW, exec produced by Ryan Seacrest, who stopped by “Today” on Wednesday to announce he was the newest member of the NBC “family.”) Friday’s “Today” also featured a performance by Nicki Minaj.

View Photo Gallery: “American Idol” may have launched Ryan Seacrest’s career into stardom, but it’s not the only gig he’s had.

“GMA,” however, was no slouch Friday; its lineup included an interview with the parents of Lauren Scruggs — the model turned fashion blogger who lost a hand and an eye when she accidentally walked into the still-moving propeller of a plane. ”GMA” also featured clips of an upcoming primetime interview with the transgender Miss Universe hopeful (Miss Universe pageant, ironically, is a partnership of Donald Trump and “Today” parent NBC Universal.) And, Katie and the ”GMA” gang gave the re-upped Matt a shout-out on their show Friday morning.


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