Week of Nov. 22 Morning Show Ratings: Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Powers Today Show to No. 1 in All Categories

By A.J. Katz 

After 16 consecutive weeks of splitting the weekly morning show ratings race with Good Morning America, NBC’s Today was the No. 1 show on morning television last week.

Boosted the network’s annual broadcast of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade (9 a.m.-12 p.m. ET) on Thursday, Today finished No. 1 for the week both in average total viewers (3.73 million) and adults 25-54 (1.10 million).

In addition to breaking GMA’s winning streak in average total viewers at 16 weeks, NBC’s Today has earned either an outright win or first-place tie in the key measurement 321 out of the past 325 weeks. Quite a run!

Compared to the prior week, Today grew by +14% in total viewers and +27% in adults 25-54. However, relative to the Thanksgiving-shortened week in 2020, the broadcast fell -3% in total viewers and -7% among adults 25-54.

GMA averaged 3.42 million total viewers and 856,000 adults 25-54 last week. That’s +1% in total viewers and +6% in the key demo from what the broadcast averaged the previous week. In fact, ABC’s morning show actually beat Today head-to-head on Tuesday, both among total viewers (3.505 million vs. 3.10 million) and adults 25-54 (882,000 vs. 832,000). That said, GMA was down by -3% in average total viewers and -9% in the A25-54 demo from the year-ago week.

CBS This Mornings averaged 2.54 million total viewers to go with 402,000 A25-54 viewers last week. That’s -3% in average total viewers, but a whopping -27% adults 25-54 from the previous week.  As the case for ABC and NBC’s morning offerings, CBS was down from the comparable week in 2020, shedding -10% in average total audience and -35% in A25-54 audience.

Today show’s weekly ratings averages are based on three days, (Monday, Tuesday and Thanksgiving Thursday). On the other hand, GMA’s weekly averages are based on just two days (Monday and Tuesday), while CBS Mornings’ ratings averages are also based on two days (Monday and Tuesday). ABC and CBS did not bother to count their respective Thursday broadcasts towards their weekly ratings averages, undoubtedly assuming many of their usual viewers would be tuning into NBC Thursday morning for the parade. In fact, on Thursday, CBS went ahead and showed a repeat of their coverage of last year’s parade.

Nielsen live-plus-same-day numbers for the week of Nov. 22, 2021:

• Total Viewers: 3,422,000 3,727,000 2,540,000
• A25-54: 856,000 1,103,000 402,000




Source: The Nielsen Company, NTI Total Viewers, Adults 25-54. Live + SD Current Week (w/o 11/15/21), Previous Week (w/o 11/8/21) and Year-Ago Week (w/o 11/16/20). Most Current: 2021 -2022 Season (9/20 – 11/21/21) and 2020 -2021 Season (9/21 – 11/22/20). Sweeps based on Most Current: November 2021 Sweep (10/28 – 11/24/21), November 2020 Sweep (10/29 – 11/25/20) and July 2021 Sweep (7/1 – 7/28/21). Sweep periods (November, February, May and July). Beginning 8/31/20, national ratings also include Out of Home (OOH) viewing. Averages based on regular telecasts.