There looks to be a new winner in the morning-show wars, as “GMA” finally won a weekly battle, topping “The Today Show” for the first time in 16 years and ending their rival’s historic winning streak.
Last week “Good Morning America” averaged 5.147 million viewers for the week, beating “Today’s” 5.134 million viewers, according to early Nielsen numbers. That’s a mighty narrow margin with a difference of just 13,000 viewers, but a win is a win. The numbers are subject to change when the final ratings are released later this week, but ABC News is cautiously optimistic about claiming victory.
“This is an exciting day, but we will save any celebrating for when the final numbers come in on Thursday. Like every week, we want to thank our loyal viewers, our stations, our amazing team of Robin Roberts, George Stephanopoulos, Sam Champion, Josh Elliott, Lara Spencer and our dedicated staff and crew for getting us to this amazing point,” said Tom Cibrowski, senior executive producer, in a statement.
It’s a huge coup that has the “GMA” gang giddy.
“What a milestone!” Tweeted “GMA” co-host George Stephanopoulos, who also thanked viewers “for giving us a week we’ll never forget.”
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Observers were quick to note that “GMA,” which has been gaining momentum for some time, came out on top in a week when “Today’s” main man Matt Lauer was on vacation. But “Today” producers graciously acknowledged the feat, while patting themselves on the back for its remarkable ratings reign.
“‘Today’s’ 852-week winning streak had taken on a life of its own and as odd as it is to see it end, we should acknowledge just how remarkable it has been,” said Jim Bell, executive producer of “Today.” “So as we tip our caps to the team at ‘Good Morning America,’ we can take also take a bow ourselves and recognize the work done by countless staffers for so long. It is not an overstatement to call it one of the most incredible achievements in television history, one that is not likely to ever happen again.”
“Today” had won in the ratings for 852 consecutive weeks in a streak that began in 1995, which bears reminding, was in the Bryant Gumbel era.