The morning show ratings story over the past decade is that Good Morning America has averaged the most total viewers, while NBC’s Today has averaged the most adults 25-54.
Well, that trend continued in the 2020-’21 TV season. GMA marked nine consecutive seasons at No. 1 on morning TV in total viewers, and it increased its advantage over Today versus last season (+21% – 103,000 versus 85,000) to its largest in four years—since the 2016-2017 season.
According to live-plus-same-day data from Nielsen for the 2020-’21 TV season, ABC’s flagship morning show hauled in an averaged of 3.38 million total viewers, while Today averaged 3.28 million and CBS This Morning (now known as CBS Mornings) 2.68 million.
How about adults 25-54? This is a category Today has dominated for years and continued to dominate in 2020-’21, despite a decline. The NBC morning show averaged 962,000 A25-54 viewers this season, while GMA averaged 876,000 and CTM averaged just 577,000 adults 25-54.
The broadcast morning shows continue to lose viewers on an annual basis. GMA, Today and CTM averaged a combined 9.34 million during 2020-’21, which is -10% from what they drew in the 2019-’20 season ( 10.33 million). Compared to the previous season, GMA shed -10% in total viewers and -19% among adults 25-54. Today fell -11% in total viewers and -18% among adults 25-54. CBS was -7% among total viewers and -17% among adults 25-54.
Click below for the averages for the previous seven seasons:
Numbers for 2020-2021 TV season:
|• Total Viewers:||3,379,000||3,276,000||2,681,000|
Moving to Q3 of this year — GMA remained the most-watched morning show, while Today captured the most adults 25-54, as has become tradition over the past decade.
The ABC morning show averaged 3.20 million viewers for the quarter, whereas Today pulled in a 3.18 million viewer average, and 2.5 million for CBS This Morning.
Today show averaged 880,000 viewers from the key A25-54 demo, whereas GMA pulled in 800,000 on average, with just 496,000 for CTM.
Compared to the previous quarter (Q2, 2021), GMA shed -2% in total viewers and -6% in A25-54 viewers. Today fell less than -1% in total viewers and -3% in demo viewers. CBS fell more than its competition, -5% in total viewers and -9% in demo viewers vs. the previous quarter.
Compared to Q3 of last year, GMA was -4% in total viewers and -10% among adults 25-54. Today was -2% in total viewers and -9% in A25-54 demo viewers. CTM was -4% in total viewers and a whopping -16% in demo viewers.
Numbers for Q3, 2021:
|• Total Viewers:||3,204,000||3,181,000||2,496,000|
Source: The Nielsen Company, NTI Total Viewers, Adults 25-54. Live + SD. Most Current: 2020 -2021 Season (9/21/20-9/19/21) and 2019-2020 Season (9/23/13-9/20/20). Most Current – 3Q21: 6/28 – 9/19/21. 2Q21: 3/29 – 6/27/21. 3Q20: 6/29 – 9/20/20. Beginning 8/31/20, national ratings also include Out of Home (OOH) viewing. Averages based on regular telecasts.