ABC's 'Good Morning America' Narrows Ratings Gap With NBC's 'Today'

Ida Mae Astute/ABC

Early in the fall TV season, the morning shows were separated by only around 270,000 viewers on average last week, but "Today" remains dominant in the key demographic of people aged 25-54.

NEW YORK - The ratings showdown between NBC's and ABC's morning TV shows has heated up early this fall season as the lead that the former's Today has enjoyed over Good Morning America has narrowed, the Wall Street Journal reported.

The Today show earlier this year celebrated its 800th week in the top ratings spot.

The intensifying battle between the morning shows comes after major changes in their anchor teams.

During last month's fall season premiere week, Good Morning America inched to within a daily average of 397,000 viewers of Today, according to the Journal. That compared to a Today viewer advantage of 1.1 million and 1.4 million during the same week in 2010 and 2009, respectively.

Last week, Today's viewership lead on average was around 270,000, the paper said, citing preliminary Nielsen data.

However, Today's ratings have rebounded in recent days, and it continues to dominate among the core viewers aged 25 to 54 years, the Journal said pointing to more preliminary ratings data.

Still, NBC and its new owner Comcast will keep a close eye on GMA's gains as NBC continues to look to turn around its prime-time performance in the coming years.Today brought in $535 million in advertising revenue in 2010, up 5.6 percent from a year earlier, according to estimates from research firm Kantar Media. GMA took in $314 million from ads, up 6.3 percent, according to the Journal.

Jim Bell, Today's executive producer, told the Journal that he is pleased with the show's performance after an anchor switch from Meredith Vieira to Ann Curry.

"We went through a big transition with Meredith to Ann, but we are happy with our performance in light of that anchor switch and some other questions about the broadcast schedule," he said.

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