Q4 ’21 Morning Show Ratings: New Quarter, Same Result as GMA and Today Split First Place

By A.J. Katz 

Good Morning America and Today show split the morning show ratings race for the fourth quarter of 2021.

However, all three—GMA, Today and CBS This Morning—lost viewers from Q4 of the previous year, continuing an unfortunate trend of year-over-year ratings losses for the morning shows.

Based on the most current data from Nielsen, GMA was the most-watched morning show in Q4 for the 10th consecutive year, averaging 3.33 million total viewers for the quarter (+4% from Q3 ’21). Overall, GMA has won 36 of the last 38 quarters in total viewers, finishing behind the Today show in Q3 2016 and Q1 2018, both of which featured NBC Olympics.

The ABC morning show outperformed its NBC competition by +91,000 total viewers in Q4, up from its margin of victory in Q3 ’21 (+23,000) but down from its Q4 ’20 margin (+148,000).

GMA also averaged 815,000 adults 25-54 in Q4, second to NBC’s Today.

Speaking of NBC’s morning show, Today was yet again the top national morning show for Q4 among adults 25-54, the demo that still means the most to TV news advertisers, marking 25 straight quarters at No. 1. The broadcast averaged 907,000 adults 25-54

The NBC morning show outperformed its ABC competition by +92,000 adults 25-54 in Q4, up from its margin of victory in Q3 ’21 (+80,000) but down from its Q4 ’20 margin (+98,000).

Today also averaged 3.24 million total viewers in Q4 ’21, second to GMA.

CBS Mornings remained No. 3 in Q4 2020, averaging 2.54 million total viewers and 537,000 adults 25-54. The 537,000 adults 25-54 average is +8% from what the show averaged in Q3 ’21—and a more significant gain than what ABC (+2%) and NBC (+3%) delivered in the measurement in Q4.

In Q4 2021, compared with Q4 2020, GMA was -6% in total viewers and -14% in A25-54 viewers. Today was -4% in total viewers and -13% in A25-54 viewers. CBS Mornings was -7% in total viewers, but -14% in A25-54 viewers.

An average of 9.11 million Americans watched the national morning shows in Q4 ’21, a -5.5% change from Q4 2020 (9.65 million).

The averages for Q4, 2021:

• Total Viewers: 3,331,000 3,240,000 2,542,000
• A25-54: 815,000 907,000 537,000




Source: The Nielsen Company, NTI Total Viewers, Adults 25-54. Live + SD. 4Q21: 9/20/21 – 12/26/21, 3Q21: 6/28 – 9/19/21 and 4Q20: 9/21 – 12/27/20. Beginning 8/31/20, national ratings also include Out of Home (OOH) viewing. Averages based on regular telecasts.