Morning Show Ratings: ABC and NBC Split Q4 Ratings Race, CBS Makes Slight Year-Over-Year Gains on the Competition in A25-54

By A.J. Katz 

ABC and NBC split the morning show ratings race for Q4 of 2019, while CBS This Morning made slight inroads in the A25-54 demo from Q4 of 2018.

All 3 shows lost viewers from 2018,

Q4 2019 stood as GMA’s 8th year in a row to win the Q4 in average total viewers. Overall, GMA has won 28 of the last 30 quarters in total viewers, finishing behind Today show in Q3 2016 and Q1 2018, both of which featured NBC Olympics.


The ABC morning show also outperformed its NBC competition by +79,000 total viewers, nearly doubling its total viewers advantage versus the prior Q4 (+98%; vs. 40,000) to its largest 4th quarter lead in 3 years – since Q4 2016.

NBC’s Today was the top national morning show for Q4 among adults 25-54, the demo that still means the most to TV news advertisers. The broadcast averaged 1.23 million total viewers from the demo, roughly +9% more than GMA and +63% more than CBS This Morning.

The NBC morning show also won the month of December in all measurements, including total viewers, and won the 2019 calendar year in the A25-54 demo for the 4th straight year.

CBS This Morning remained No. 3 in Q4 2019. It lost viewers from the prior Q4, but its year-over-year losses in the key demo were less severe than those of ABC and NBC.

In Q4 2019, compared with Q4 of 2018, GMA was -6% in total viewers and -9% in A25-54 viewers. Today was -7% in total viewers and -12% in A25-54 viewers. CBS This Morning was -8% in total viewers, and -7% in A25-54 viewers.

An average of 10.52 million Americans watched the national morning shows in Q4 2019, a -7% change from Q4 2018 (11.3 million).

The averages for Q4, 2019:

• Total Viewers: 3,864,000 3,785,000 2,873,000
• A25-54: 1,133,000 1,233,000 755,000




Source: The Nielsen Company, NTI Total Viewers, Adults 25-54 and Adults 18-49.  Quarters: Live+7/Most Current – 4Q19: 9/23 – 12/29/19, 3Q18: 7/1 – 9/22/19 and 4Q18: 9/24 – 12/30/18. Averages based on regular telecasts.