ABC was home to the No. 1 morning show for the 2018-2019 season in total audience, the show’s seventh straight win, while NBC reigned supreme in the advertiser-preferred A25-54 demographic for the fourth consecutive season. CBS remained in third place.
What did the three morning shows all have in common? They all lost viewers from 2017-2018 season.
In addition to winning the season in total viewers, GMA was able to cut its season margins with Today in adults 25-54 by -19% (122,000 vs. 150,000), which is the slimmest margin four years– since the 2014-15 season.
Not only did Today take top honors in the key demo for the fourth consecutive season, but the NBC morning show won 12 weeks in total viewers this season, posting its narrowest total viewer margin versus GMA in seven years.
CBS This Morning finished third in the ratings race. The program had an unusual 2018-2019. Newly-named CBS News president Susan Zirinsky shook things up early in the year, both in the mornings and the evenings. Norah O’Donnell and John Dickerson were moved off CBS This Morning, and replaced in the spring by CBS Newsers Anthony Mason and Tony Dokoupil.
Gayle King is the centerpiece of CBS This Morning, while O’Donnell is now the anchor of the CBS Evening News, while Dickerson is now a 60 Minutes correspondent.
Compared to the 2017-2018 TV news season, Good Morning America was -4% in total viewers, and -9% in the key A25-54 demo. Today was -4% in total viewers and -10% among adults 25-54. CBS This Morning was -9% in total viewers, and -10% among adults 25-54.
Average audience for 2018-2019 season
|• Total Viewers:||3,975,000||3,905,000||3,030,000|
GMA finished the de-facto summer quarter as the No. 1 morning show in total viewers for the third consecutive Q3, while Today finished No. 1 in the ad-friendly A25-54 demo for the fourth consecutive Q3.
In addition to winning in total viewers 3rd consecutive Q3 and for the 7th time in the last 8 years, the ABC morning show also managed to narrowed its year-ago quarter gap (Q3 2018) with Today in the A25-54 demo by -73% (38,000 vs. 143,000).
The aforementioned Today show averaged +38,000 (+4%) more adults 25-54 than GMA during Q3 2018. That’s far less than usual. What happened? Today co-host Hoda Kotb being out on maternity leave for a chunk of Q3 may have had an impact on the show’s summer ratings.
That said, a win is still a win!
Compared with Q3 of 2018, GMA was -5% in total viewers, and -7% in the key A25-54 demo. Today was -5% in total viewers and -12% among adults 25-54. CBS This Morning was -6% in total viewers, and only -3% among adults 25-54. Being -3% year-over-year in the demo can be considered something of a win for third-place CTM.
Average audience for Q3 of 2019:
|• Total Viewers:||3,663,000||3,550,000||2,744,000|
Source: The Nielsen Company, NTI Total Viewers, Adults 25-54 Live + SD. Most Current: 2018-2019 Season (9/24/18 – 9/22/19) and 2017-2018 Season (9/25/17 – 9/23/18). Averages based on regular telecasts.