Nearly three weeks after Matt Lauer's termination from The Today Show, the program is still enjoying a surge in rating from all the publicity.
Among the morning talk shows on major networks, Today typically came up just short of Good Morning America up until Lauer's scandal broke. Since he was fired, however, the show has been leading the 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. hours, where Lauer used to co-host.
Last week, Today averaged 4.59 million viewers each morning, just barely beating Good Morning America's average of 4.51 million. They absolutely crushed CBS This Morning's 3.7 million.
The tight race in terms of ratings is a surprise for NBC, who cited low ratings as the reason they fired Ann Curry from Today back in 2012. Rumors have circulated that Curry's dismissal, along with a host of other odd behavior by NBC, was all for the sake of keeping Lauer happy. The common wisdom was that Lauer was the key to Today's success over Good Morning America.
Yet the numbers now show that in recent years that wasn't the case. The only time Today has been able to pull ahead was during last year's Olympics in Rio, where many rumors about Lauer's indiscretions have come from.
Industry experts still speculate that Today's ratings will return to normal, and that this surge is temporary. Lauer has been replaced indefinitely by Hoda Kotb, who used to co-host the later hours of the show.
Megyn Kelly is also drawing lots of attention to the program, as she has stated that Lauer was a big help to her in the transition from Fox to NBC. Kelly is outspoken in condemning men who have been accused of sexual assault.