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This story first appeared in the June 19 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.
New Day is one of only two morning programs to show growth this year. The CNN series, up 30 percent from the 2013-14 TV season, is joined only by CBS This Morning in improving its lot among the adults 25-to-54 news demo for the 2014-15 season to date. But the most interesting battle is still between broadcast’s No. 1 and No. 2 telecasts.
ABC’s Good Morning America remains the most watched and highest rated across all of television, but three recent weekly wins for NBC’s Today have hinted at a tide change. Today, which lost the ratings crown in 2012, closed its latest rolling four-week average to within 23,000 viewers of GMA in the key demo. That’s a significant improvement from the 262,000 pairs of eyeballs that separated the two nine months ago, when rumors again swirled about potential talent changes at the NBC show.
The viewership gap presents a much tougher hurdle to overcome: Although the distance between the two has narrowed, GMA leads Today by a handsome 500,000 viewers — even as both shows have dropped compared with the 2013-14 season. CBS again is the exception, growing its total audience 10 percent, more than any other morning show during the past year.
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