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DENVER — NBC’s “Today” rode the Beijing Olympic wave earlier this month to its best ratings performance over two weeks since 2000.
“Today,” which had the entire crew of Matt Lauer, Meredith Vieira, Ann Curry and Al Roker in China during the Olympics, towered above the competition in the three-way broadcast breakfast-cast race.
For the week ended Aug. 22, “Today” averaged 6.2 million viewers, Nielsen Media Research said Friday. That’s 2.4 million viewers ahead of ABC’s “Good Morning America” and 3.7 million more than CBS’s “the Early Show.” For the two weeks of the Olympics, “Today” was on top by similar margins.
That’s music to the ears of Jim Bell, the executive producer of “Today” for the past three and a half years.
“We had one of those amazing two weeks,” Bell said Friday afternoon after returning from producing “Today” in Denver for the Democratic National Convention. “I don’t know how we could overstate how happy we are with the results and to have the best ratings we’ve seen in terms of advantage.”
Things are also looking up for its coverage last week of the DNC, although final ratings won’t be available until late this week. Lauer and Curry anchored coverage from Denver; Curry and Vieira will be handling that part of the show in St. Paul, Minn., for the Republican National Convention.
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