'GMA' Wins in Viewers for First Time Since Matt Lauer's 'Today' Firing

Good Morning America earned back its top spot in viewership after seven weeks, but it shouldn’t get comfortable.

The ABC morning broadcast topped ratings among all viewers for the week ending January 19, returning to its post as the most-watched morning show. But Today held tight to its typical win in the more important category, earning a lead in viewers ages 25 to 54, which is the demographic most coveted by advertisers.

GMA garnered 4.51 million average viewers during the week, while Today grabbed 4.46 million and CBS This Morning earned 3.86 million.

Despite the shift, though, the numbers contributing to GMA’s victory are skewed compared to a traditional week. None of the three morning broadcasts were rated on Monday for the Martin Luther King holiday, and breaking weather reports pre-empeted Today’s broadcasts in major markets on Tuesday and Wednesday.

This season to date, Today still holds a total average lead, managing a 16,000-viewer margin over its rival program; this is NBC’s best lead over GMA since the 2011-2012 season.

The reignited ratings battle, which traditionally saw GMA hold steady among total viewers and Today grasping tight in the advertisers demographic, began when NBC abruptly fired veteran cohost Matt Lauer in late November for “sexually inappropriate behavior in the workplace.”

Following the on-air announcement, the network dominated both ratings segments as Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb stepped in to serve as Today’s first female-led team. In January, NBC announced Kotb would permanently replace Lauer as the morning broadcast co-anchor alongside Guthrie after viewers expressed clear interest in the pair.

While ABC took back its total viewership lead for the first time in seven weeks, Today should expect a boost in February as it broadcasts coverage of the Olympic games for several weeks from Pyeongchang, South Korea.

Today will feature a mix of its typical news programming and Olympic coverage, but Guthrie, Kotb and longtime broadcaster Al Roker are set to anchor the show from Pyeongchang during the games.