Morning Show Ratings for Week of May 18 and May Sweeps: GMA and Today Split Month, but Continue to Shed Viewers

By A.J. Katz 

For the sixth consecutive week, Good Morning America and Today split the morning show ratings race.

GMA averaged 3.76 million viewers for the week of May 18, more than its NBC rival Today show ( 3.73 million), but not exactly a commanding victory.

Season to date, GMA is the No. 1 morning newscast in Total Viewers for the eighth straight year.


ABC’s morning show may have averaged a larger total audience, but it once again played second fiddle to Today in Adults 25-54. By averaging just under 1.2 million A25-54 viewers, Today has now defeated its ABC and CBS morning competition in the key demo 228 of the past 230 weeks. GMA averaged slightly more than 1 million Adults 25-54 last week.

CBS This Morning remained in third place, averaging just 2.93 million total viewers for the week.

GMA didn’t trend in the right direction this past week. The broadcast was -3% in Total Viewers and -7% in the A25-54 demo versus the week of May 11. The Today show didn’t shed as much of its audience: -1% in Total Viewers and -2% in the demo from the previous week. CBS This Morning was -4% in Total Viewers and -7% in the key A25-54 demo.

Unlike its counterparts in the evenings, the morning shows are not posting year-over-year growth, despite this unique time in which we’re living. GMA was -5% in Total Viewers and -11% in the key demo. Today was -5% versus last year and -6% in the demo. CTM was also -5% in Total Viewers, but a whopping -16% in the A25-54 demo.

Nielsen live-plus-same-day numbers for the week of May 18:

• Total Viewers: 3,759,000 3,731,000 2,926,000
• A25-54: 1,016,000 1,179,000 641,000




Source: The Nielsen Company, NTI Total Viewers, Adults 25-54 Live + SD, Current Week (w/o 5/18/20), Previous Week (w/o 5/11/20) and Year-Ago Week (w/o 5/20/19).  Most Current: 2019 -2020 Season (9/23/19 – 5/24/20) and 2018 -2019 Season (9/24/18 – 5/26/19).  Averages based on regular telecasts.

GMA and Today split the May sweeps period.

Good Morning America was the most-watched morning show for the eighth consecutive May sweeps period, while NBC’s Today show remained No. 1 among the ad-friendly A25-54 demo for the 17th consecutive sweeps period.

When compared to the May 2019 sweeps period, the trend wasn’t terrible. ABC was -1% in total viewers, and NBC was -3% in total viewers. CBS This Morning was up nearly +1% from the prior May, a small victory for the program. However, in the A25-54 demo, ABC was -4% and NBC -5%. CBS, despite holding steady in Total Viewers, was -11% in the Adults 25-54 audience versus the May 2019 sweeps period.

The big three broadcast morning shows averaged a combined weekly total of 10.93 million viewers during the May sweeps period, only -1% from the May 2019 sweeps period (11.07 million).

Nielsen live-plus-same-day numbers for the week of May 2020 sweeps:

• Total Viewers: 3,979,000 3,868,000 3,081,000
• A25-54: 1,121,000 1,210,000 681,000




Source: The Nielsen Company, NTI Total Viewers, Adults 25-54.  Sweeps based on Live+7/Most Current:  May 20/20 (4/23 – 5/20/20), May 2019 (4/25-5/22/19) and February 2020 (1/30-2/26/20).  Sweep periods (November, February, May and July).  NOTE: Due to the digital transition, the 2009 February sweep was 3/5 – 4/1/09