Week of Jan. 4 Morning Show Ratings: GMA Marks Its Largest Lead Over Today in More Than 2 1/2 Years

By A.J. Katz 

ABC’s Good Morning America and NBC’s Today split the morning ratings competition for the week of Jan. 4, 2021.

CBS This Morning, while finishing 3rd, managed to post significant viewership growth from the previous week.

It goes without saying that last week was a news-heavy one, and that shows in the ratings.


ABC’s morning show averaged more than 3.6 million total viewers and 988,000 adults 25-54 last week. The 3.6 million total viewer average represents +310,000 more than the Today show. That’s GMA largest margin of victory over Today in more than 2 1/2 years. In fact, GMA saw its 2nd-largest audience in total viewers and Adults 25-54 in 7 months – since week of June 1, 2020.

Additionally, on Thursday, the day after the Capitol riots, GMA delivered its most-watched telecast in 8 months.

GMA is increasing its advantage over Today in total viewers from the same point last season (+86% – 158,000 vs. 85,000) to its largest in 5 years – since the 2015-16 season.

Good Morning America may have won in total viewers, but NBC’s Today show maintained its streak at No. 1 in the mornings among adults 25-54 by averaging 1 million viewers from the demo. Today has now finished No. 1 (either outright or in a tie) in the A25-54 measurement for a whopping 72 consecutive weeks, averaging +53,000 adults 25-54 than its ABC morning competitor and +388,000 more than its CBS morning competitor.

CBS This Morning —which just named a new executive producer in former Vice News D.C. bureau chief Shawna Thomas— drew an average of 2.8 million total viewers, and 653,000 adults 25-54 last week.

Compared to the prior week, the numbers were good for all three morning shows. CBS This Morning was up +6% among total viewers and +20% among adults 25-54. NBC’s Today was +2% in total viewers, and +12% among adults 25-54. GMA experienced the most positive trend, finishing +8% among total viewers and +20% among adults 25-54.

Relative to the same week one year ago,  all three of the morning shows continued to trend down; particularly among adults 25-54. GMA was -7% in total viewers and -16% among adults 25-54. Today show was -13% in total viewers and -18% among adults 25-54 from that week in 2020. CBS This Morning was OK relative to the competition, down just -2% in total viewers, and -8% among adults 25-54.

Nielsen Live-plus-same-day numbers for the week of Jan. 4, 2021:

• Total Viewers: 3,618,000 3,308,000 2,798,000
• A25-54: 988,000 1,041,000 653,000




Source: The Nielsen Company, NTI Total Viewers, Adults 25-54 Live + SD Current Week (w/o 1/4/21), Previous Week (w/o 12/28/20) and Year-Ago Week (w/o 1/6/20). Most Current: 2020 -2021 Season (9/21/20 – 1/10/21 and Most Current: 2019 -2020 Season (9/23/19 – 1/12/20). Nielsen ratings for ABC, NBC and CBS include additional airings in select markets. *Beginning 8/31/20, national ratings also include Out of Home (OOH) viewing. Averages based on regular telecasts.