Week of March 1 Morning Show Ratings: NBC’s Today Ascends to First Place in Total Viewers

By A.J. Katz 

If you read TVNewser’s weekly morning ratings posts on a regular basis, you’re used to seeing something to the effect of: “Good Morning America finished the week No. 1 in total viewers, while Today was No. 1 among adults 25-54.”

Well, this past week was different. “Not so fast, my friends,” as the sportscaster Lee Corso likes to say.

For the week of March 1, it was NBC’s Today show that was the No. 1 morning show not only among adults 25-54 (1.05 million), but also in total viewers (3.45 million). This is the first time in 2021 that NBC’s morning show has won a week in all relevant measurements. In fact, Today hasn’t averaged more total viewers than GMA for a full Monday-Friday week since Thanksgiving Week 2020.


In addition to a rare win in total viewers, Today has now ranked No.1 in the key A25-54 demo for 80 consecutive weeks and 269 of the last 271 weeks, and delivered its largest A25-54 audience and widest advantage over GMA since Thanksgiving Week 2020.

Compared to the prior week (Feb. 22), Today grew +1% in total viewers and +1% in adults 25-54. Compared to the same week one year ago, (which Today ironically also won in total viewers), the morning show fell -14% in total viewers and -20% among adults 25-54.

ABC’s Good Morning America had a subpar ratings week by its standards. It fell -2% in total viewers, but held steady in the demo. Year-over-year, the broadcast was -13% in total viewers, and lost roughly a quarter of its A25-54 audience (-26%). GMA did manage to remain ahead of CBS This Morning this past week, so at least it has that going for them. We’d be surprised if GMA didn’t return to No. 1 in total viewers in the very near future, but one can never be too sure.

Speaking of CBS This Morning, the broadcast posted impressive week to week growth among adults 25-54 (+7%), and total viewers (+3%). It shed double digit percentage points from the comparable week in 2020, down -11% in total viewers and -19% among adults 25-54.

CBS This Morning could see record-setting ratings this week in light of Oprah Winfrey‘s live appearance on Monday’s broadcast, the day after her prime time interview on CBS with Meghan Markle and Prince Harry aired. Oprah also brought with her to Monday’s show interview footage that had been left out of the original prime time broadcast. We’ll have to wait and see if CTM can give GMA or Today a run for their money in any measurement when this week’s ratings arrive next week.

Nielsen Live-plus-same-day numbers for the week of March 1, 2021

• Total Viewers: 3,438,000 3,446,000 2,774,000
• A25-54: 880,000 1,047,000 608,000


Source: The Nielsen Company, NTI Total Viewers, Adults 25-54 Live + SD Current Week (w/o 3/1/21), Previous Week (w/o 2/28/21) and Year-Ago Week (w/o 3/2/20). Most Current: 2020 -2021 Season (9/21/20 – 3/7/21 and Most Current: 2019 -2020 Season (9/23/19 – 3/9/20). “GMA3” year-ago time-slot (“GMA3: Strahan, Sara & Keke”). *Beginning 8/31/20, national ratings also include Out of Home (OOH) viewing. Averages based on regular telecasts.