Q1 2022 and Week of March 21 Morning Show Ratings: GMA Extends Lead in Total Viewers; Today Remains No. 1 in Demo

By A.J. Katz 

Good Morning America and Today show split the morning show ratings race for the first quarter of 2022.

Based on the most current data from Nielsen, GMA was the most-watched morning show in Q1 for the 9th time in the past 10 years, averaging 3.38 million total viewers for the quarter (+1% from Q4 ’21), marking back-to-back quarters of growth in total viewers. Overall, GMA has won 37 of the last 39 quarters in total viewers, finishing behind the Today show in Q3 2016 and Q1 2018, both of which featured NBC Olympics—and 16 quarters in a row.

GMA out-delivered its NBC morning rival by an average of +211,000 total viewers, more than doubling its lead over the previous quarter (+124%; vs. +94,000 for Q4 ’21) to its largest quarter lead in more than four years—since Q2 ’17.


GMA also averaged 818,000 adults 25-54 in Q4, runner-up to NBC’s Today and up less than +1% from the prior quarter.

Speaking of NBC’s morning show, Today was yet again the top national morning show among adults 25-54—the demo that still means the most to TV news advertisers, marking 26 straight quarters at No. 1. The broadcast averaged 872,000 adults 25-54 in Q1 2022, which is -4% from what the broadcast in Q4 of 2021.

While NBC morning show outperformed its ABC competition by +54,000 adults 25-54 in Q1, that’s actually from the show’s margin of victory in Q4 ’21 (+80,000) and its margin of victory in Q1 2021 (+103,000).

Today also averaged 3.17 million total viewers in Q1 ’22, second to GMA and -2% from the previous quarter.

CBS Mornings remained No. 3 in Q1 2022, averaging 2.51 million total viewers and 547,000 adults 25-54. The 547,000 adults 25-54 average is +2% from what the show averaged in Q3 ’21—marking back-to-back quarters of growth in the key measurement. The 2.51 million total viewer average is -1% from what the show averaged the previous quarter.

All three of the major morning shows—GMA, Today and CBS Mornings—lost viewers from Q1 of the previous year, continuing an unfortunate trend of annual ratings losses for the morning shows.

GMA shed -3% in total viewers and -9% among adults 25-54, Today lost -5% in total viewers and -13% in adults 25-54, while CBS Mornings saw the steepest year-over-year decline, -11% in total viewers and -14% among adults 25-54.

An average of 9.05 million Americans watched the national morning shows on linear TV in Q1 2022. That’s -1% from the prior quarter (Q4 ’21), and -6% from Q1 of 2021.

The averages for Q1, 2022:

• Total Viewers: 3,377,000 3,166,000 2,506,000
• A25-54: 818,000 872,000 547,000




How about the week of March 21? Well, GMA remains the most-watched morning show, while Today continues to attract the most adults 25-54.

According to live-plus-same-day data from Nielsen, GMA averaged 3.27 million total viewers this past week. That’s +387,000 more than its NBC morning rival, an increase of +27% from the previous week and the show’s largest margin of victory in over 5 years—since the week of Feb. 27, 2017.

The 3.27 million total viewer average also represents +6% growth from the previous week (March 14). It also happens to be +1% from what the show delivered in the year-ago week (March 22, ’21).

GMA also averaged 807,000 adults 25-54 this past week, which is +13% from what the show averaged the prior week—and up less than +1% vs. the year-ago week. GMA did rank No. 1 in the demo on Monday and Wednesday, but finished No. 2 behind Today in the measurement the rest of the week.

Nevertheless, a pretty good week for GMA on the Nielsen ratings front. Growth on a week-to-week and year-over-year basis doesn’t happen very often in the mornings.

Over on NBC, Today show remained No. 1 in the mornings among adults 25-54, averaging 820,000 this past week. That’s +7% from what the show averaged in the demo the prior week, but -16% from what it averaged in the year-ago week.  Despite the drop-off, Today has now finished No. 1 in the mornings among adults 25-54 for 336 out of the last 343 weeks. The NBC morning show averaged 2.89 million viewers for the week, a +4% gain from the previous week but a -10% loss from the year-ago week.

It’s worth noting that due to live coverage of the Supreme Court Confirmation Hearings on Tuesday March 22, Today was retitled to “Today-TS”  The retitled telecast is excluded from the weekly and season averages—and the weekly averages for NBC’s flagship morning show are based on four days (Monday and Wednesday-Friday), as opposed to the usual five.

CBS Mornings averaged 2.43 million total viewers during the week of March 21, which is +5% from the prior week, but -6% from the year-ago week. The program also averaged 501,000 A25-54 viewers, which is -3% from the prior week and -16% from the year-ago week.

Nielsen live-plus-same-day impressions for the week of March 21, 2022:

• Total Viewers: 3,274,000 2,887,000 2,433,000
• A25-54: 807,000 820,000 501,000