Week of Aug. 31 Morning Show Ratings: GMA Delivers Its Largest Overall Audience in 10 Weeks, Splits Ratings Honors With Today Show

By A.J. Katz 

For the fourth consecutive week, Good Morning America and the Today show split the morning show ratings race. GMA averaged the most total viewers, while Today captured the most adults 25-54.

The legendary NBC morning show averaged 1 million viewers from the A25-54 demo. That’s +118,000 more than GMA—its widest lead over its rival in 15 weeks—and +440,000 more than what CBS This Morning averaged this past week.

Today has earned either an outright win or a first-place tie in the A25-54 measurement for 54 consecutive weeks and 243 of the past 245 weeks. Today has also won the morning show race in the A25-54 demo outright 242 of the past 245 weeks.


Compared to the prior week (Aug. 24), the morning show trended well. Today was +1% in the A25-54 demo and +2% in average total viewers. Compared with the year-ago week, the trend was worse. Today show was -15% in total viewers and -17% in the A25-54 demo.

It’s worth noting that Hoda Kotb returned to the broadcast during the year-ago week, an event which gave the show a significant viewership boost at the time. Kotb had been on maternity leave since April of that year.

Today was also in the midst of a summer-long ratings winning streak at this point last year. However, Good Morning America has returned to No. 1 in the average total viewers in the months since.

Speaking of GMA, in the most current data from Nielsen, an average of 3.4 million total viewers tuned into ABC’s morning show this past week. That’s the program’s largest audience in 10 weeks. That’s also roughly +124,000 more than what Today averaged for the week and +889,000 more than what CBS This Morning averaged for the week.

GMA also averaged 883,000 adults 25-54, second behind Today but ahead of CTM.

The ABC morning show was +2% in total viewers but -2% in A25-54 demo viewers from the prior week. The broadcast was -11% in total viewers and a whopping -23% in adults 25-54 versus the year-ago week.

GMA is the most-watched morning news show for the eighth straight year.

CBS This Morning remained in third place this past week, averaging 2.51 million total viewers and 561,000 A25-54 viewers.

Compared to the prior week, CTM was -1% in average total viewers and -5% in adults 25-54. Compared to the year-ago week, the broadcast was -14% in total viewers and lost a quarter of its A25-54 audience (-25%).

The week of Aug. 31 ratings for each program are based on just four days. ABC, NBC and CBS retitled their Friday-before-Labor Day broadcast (Sept. 4, 2020), and each is excluded from the averages.

The week of Aug. 31, 2020 was also the first week where Nielsen national ratings are including Out of Home viewing. Prior to Aug. 31, ratings did not include OOH viewing.

Live-plus-same-day numbers for the week of Aug. 31:

• Total Viewers: 3,400,000 3,276,000 2,511,000
• A25-54: 883,000 1,001,000 561,000




Source: The Nielsen Company, NTI Total Viewers, Adults 25-54 Live + SD Current Week (w/o 8/31/20*), Previous Week (w/o 8/24/20) and Year-Ago Week (w/o 9/2/19). Season to date Most Current: 2019-2020 Season (9/23/19-9/7/20*) and 2018-2019 Season (9/24/18-9/9/19).  Averages based on regular telecasts.