11:28am PT by Michael O'Connell
TV Ratings: Paula Deen Interview Drives 'Today' Victory Over 'GMA'
Morning audiences flocked to Today on Wednesday. The NBC series' highly publicized interview with Paula Deen saw viewership swell to its first daily win over Good Morning America since November.
Wednesday's episode of Today averaged 4.789 million viewers, according to preliminary Nielsen returns. That's 168,000 more viewers than GMA earned during the same day. It's a big win for Today, which still frequently has a demo advantage but hasn't seen a total viewers victory since last fall's coverage of Hurricane Sandy.
Today saw another victory in the targeted adults 25-54 demographic, again topping GMA by 168,000 with a total of 1.876 million viewers and a 1.6 rating. GMA averaged a 1.4 rating. Wednesday's Morning show ratings were also likely affected by the half-hour special report on the Supreme Court rulings on gay marriage. It aired live during the broadcasts on the west coast. Final ratings will come in on Friday, July 5.
During the fallout of Deen's N-word controversy, the former Food Network personality was originally set to speak with Matt Lauer on Friday. She canceled, rescheduling the exclusive sit-down for June 26.
Deen's tearful 13-minute interview with Lauer has done nothing to curb the cook's hemorrhaging of brand partnerships. Target and diabetes-drug maker Novo Nordisk are the latest to drop Deen, as of Thursday.