ABC’s Good Morning America finished the week of April 26 with the largest average total audience on morning TV, while NBC’s Today earned the most adults 25-54.
No surprise there.
What is a bit surprising, however, is that GMA nearly doubled its lead in total viewers over Today from the prior week, averaging nearly 3.3 million. The ABC morning show also delivered growth in adults 25-54 from the prior week (+2% — 852,000 from 836,000).
Despite expanding its lead in total viewers, GMA was actually -1% in the measurement from the prior week, and compared to the same week one year ago, the program shed -20% in total viewers and dropped -29% in adults 25-54.
NBC’s morning show, on the other hand, averaged 921,000 viewers from the adults 25-54 demo, marking 88 consecutive weeks at No. 1 in the mornings in that key measurement. Today also averaged just under 3.2 million total viewers this past week.
After back-to-back weeks of viewership growth, Today shed -3% in total viewers, and -5% in adults 25-54. Compared to the same week one year ago, the program fell by -18% in total viewers and -24% in adults 25-54.
As we’ve mentioned in recent ratings stories, the significant year-over-year audience decline makes sense. Stuck at home during the early stages of the pandemic, Americans were more likely than usual to watch the morning shows, especially for breaking news. Additionally, the news cycle is far calmer these days than it was at any point last year.
That said, Americans have been fleeing the broadcast morning shows for a while now, even prior to the pandemic, with a fair number heading to cable, newsletters, podcasts, etc. in the A.M.
Third-place CBS This Morning averaged nearly 2.8 million total viewers and 600,000 adults 25-54.
Compared to the aforementioned week of April 19, that’s down less than -1% in total viewers, but up +2% among adults 25-54. The broadcast shed -10% in total viewers, and -10% in adults 25-54 compared to the year-ago week. That’s pretty good compared to the losses its competition experienced.
Nielsen Live-plus-same-day numbers for the week of April 26, 2021
|• Total Viewers:||3,291,000||3,194,000||2,777,000|
Source: The Nielsen Company, NTI Total Viewers, Adults 25-54. Live + SD Current Week (w/o 4/26/21), Previous Week (w/o 4/19/21) and Year-Ago Week (w/o 4/27/20). Most Current: 2020 -2021 Season (9/21/20 – 5/2/21) and Most Current: 2019 -2020 Season (9/23/19 – 5/4/20). *Beginning 8/31/20, national ratings also include Out of Home (OOH) viewing. Averages based on regular telecasts.