Week of May 3 Morning Show Ratings: GMA, Today Split First Place; CBS This Morning Narrows Gap

By A.J. Katz 

ABC’s Good Morning America finished the week of May 3 with the largest average total audience on morning TV, while NBC’s Today averaged the most adults 25-54.

A pretty consistent trend over these past 8-9 years.

GMA averaged 3.32 million total viewers this past week, which is +130,000 more than Today, increasing its lead from the previous week (+34%; vs. 97,000) to its largest in 8 weeks – since the week of March 8.


The ABC morning show stayed flat in adults 25-54 from the prior week,(851,000 vs. 852,000), and grew +1% in total viewers (3.32 vs. 3.29 million). However, compared to the same week one year ago, the program shed -18% in total viewers and lost a quarter of its A25-54 audience (-25%).

NBC’s morning show, on the other hand, averaged 928,000 viewers from the adults 25-54 demo, marking 89 consecutive weeks as the No. 1 morning show in that key measurement. Today also averaged just under 3.2 million total viewers this past week.

The morning show stayed flat in total viewers, and dropped only -.5% in adults 25-54 relative to the previous week. Compared to the same week one year ago, the program fell -18% in total viewers and -23% in adults 25-54.

As we’ve mentioned in recent ratings stories, the significant year-over-year audience decline makes sense. Not only were many Americans more likely to watch the morning shows due to stay-at-home orders, but the overall news cycle is far calmer these days than it was at any point last year. We should also expect ratings to decline even more as the weather improves. But that’s not a new trend.

In general, 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 582,000 adults 25-54 for the week of May 3.

Compared to the aforementioned week of April 26, that’s flat in total viewers, but -3% among adults 25-54.  And the broadcast dropped -10% in total viewers, and -15% in adults 25-54 compared to the year-ago week.

CBS This Morning is delivering the narrowest season-to-date gaps with the competition in total viewers and the 25-54 demo dating back to 1991. Basically, CTM’s year-over-year losses are far less severe than what GMA and Today have been experiencing.

Nielsen Live-plus-same-day numbers for the week of May 3, 2021

• Total Viewers: 3,321,000 3,191,000 2,764,000
• A25-54: 851,000 928,000 582,000




Source: The Nielsen Company, NTI Total Viewers, Adults 25-54. Live + SD Current Week (w/o 5/3/21), Previous Week (w/o 4/26/21) and Year-Ago Week (w/o 5/4/20). 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.