Week of Nov. 16 Morning Show Ratings: With Thanksgiving on the Horizon, Today Climbs to No. 1 in Total Viewers

By A.J. Katz 

Good Morning America has been the most-watched morning show in recent years for the majority of the calendar year. However, when the holiday season approaches, it’s Today that traditionally manages to bypass its ABC morning rival.

That’s what happened this past week.

Today earned its first total viewer win over GMA in 15 weeks (since week of Aug. 3, 2020) and largest margin of victory in 34 weeks (since week of March 23, 2020), by averaging 3.5 million total viewers and 1.1 million adults 25-54, according to Nielsen live-plus-same-day for the 9th week of the 2020-2021 broadcast season.


By averaging 1.1 million adults 25-54 for the week of Nov. 16, Today has now finished No. 1 (either outright or in a tie) in the A25-54 measurement for 65 consecutive weeks.

Not only did the NBC morning show move to No. 1 in all relevant measurements, but it also posted week-to-week growth in total viewers (+2%) and adults 25-54 (+4%). The broadcast didn’t fare quite as well on a year-over-year basis, -11% in total viewers, and -16% among adults 25-54.

With the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade broadcast set for Thursday, it’s very likely Today will earn back-to-back across the board wins.

ABC’s morning show, on the other hand, was -2% in total viewers, and flat among adults 25-54 from the previous week. The year-over-year trend was worse, -14% in total viewers and -24% among adults 25-54.

Yes, GMA may have finished No. 2 in all relevant measurements last week, but the show, season to-date, remains No. 1 for the 9th year in a row. In fact, GMA is increasing its advantage over Today by +23% (138,000 vs. 112,000) from the same point last season to its largest in 4 years – since the 2016-17 season.

CBS This Morning delivered its second largest audience of the broadcast season to-date, 2.83 million total viewers for the week of Nov. 16.

The broadcast was up less than 1% in total viewers, and +2% among adults 25-54 from the previous week. CTM was -1% in total viewers, but -21% among adults 25-54 from the comparable week in 2019.

It’s worth noting that during the comparable week in 2019, ABC’s, CBS’ and NBC’s morning show weekly averages were based on just two days (Mon and Fri) due to live coverage of the second week of the House Impeachment Hearings

Live-plus-same-day numbers for the week of Nov. 16

• Total Viewers: 3,474,000 3,493,000 2,825,000
• A25-54: 901,000 1,084,000 615,000