One of the longest ratings winning streaks in TV history may be coming to an end.
Preliminary numbers for the week of April 9-13 show that ABC’s “Good Morning America” passed NBC’s “Today” as the most-watched morning show. That’s the first time in 852 weeks — or more than 16 years — since anything other than “Today” has been on top in the morning.
Final numbers will be released Thursday (April 19), but the early Nielsen ratings have “GMA” averaging 5,147,000 viewers for last week to 5,134,000 for “Today.” The NBC show still leads in the target demographic of adults 25-54.
The executive producers of both shows issued pretty evenhanded statements about the likely end to the streak.
“This is an exciting day, but we will save any celebrating for when the final numbers come in on Thursday,” “Good Morning America” senior EP Tom Cibrowksi says. “Like every week, we want to thank our loyal viewers, our stations, our amazing [on-air] team … and our dedicated staff and crew for getting us to this amazing point.”
“Today” EP Jim Bell says the streak “had taken on a life of its own, and as odd as it is to see it end, we should acknowledge just how remarkable it has been. So as we tip our caps to the team at ‘Good Morning America,’ we can also take a bow ourselves and recognize the work done by countless staffers for so long.”
The last time “Today” finished in second place, Bryant Gumbel and Katie Couric were the anchors, and Matt Lauer was the news anchor. Joan Lunden and Charles Gibson anchored “GMA” at the time.