A Halloween coup and a Dancing With The Stars pop catapulted ABC’s Good Morning America to its second consecutive November sweep win among the broadcast morning infotainment programs. GMA won the sweep in the news demo (2.226 million viewers) and among viewers of all ages (5.950 million). The win marks GMA’s first back-to-back November sweep wins in 20 years overall, and 21 years in the demo. The November victory extends GMA’s streak to six straight in total viewers and five in the demo.
Today, meanwhile, noted this morning is has now been No. 1 rated in the 18-49 demo for 77 consecutive sweeps overall and 22 consecutive November sweeps. News programming is not typically sold off that demo, but it is one that NBC targets aggressively in other dayparts. Read More »
“We should mention, we’re going to do this in a tasteful way — this is not The Learning Channel,” Savannah Guthrie said at the top of the hour on the Today show this morning, when Matt Lauer and Al Roker got prostate exams live, on the air, on ratings-hungry Today. Turns out, a tasteful, live, on-air prostate exam involves watching Lauer open a door, enter another room, close the door, after which the Ladies of Today vamp for 34 seconds until Matt emerges from behind the door and his doctor pronounces his prostate small, smooth, and nodule-free. It’s not as dull as, say, CNN’s Crossfire, but it doesn’t hold a candle to Katie Couric’s Celebrity Colonoscopy, about 13 years ago, on Today.
That live on-air colonoscopy changed how many Americans viewed the procedure. But back then, we watched Katie prep the night before, we listened to her talk about the death of her husband from colon cancer; Katie was sedated and therefore charmingly semi-loopy in her hospital gown at the hospital for the procedure. We watched in horror/fascination, as the little camera snaked its way up Katie’s intestine with Katie and her doctor proving commentary. It was gripping stuff. Matt and Al walking behind a door lacks drama. (continued)
More than 13 years ago, morning infotainment ratings leader Today aired Katie Couric’s Celebrity Colonoscopy and changed how many Americans viewed that screening. Tomorrow, Matt Lauer and Al Roker will get prostate exams live, on the air, on the now-ratings-hungry morning show. When Today made a star of Couric’s colon in March 2000, nearly 6.7 million viewers tuned in to watch that day. To put that in perspective, it’s about how many viewers tuned in to Today for updatesthe morning after President Obama successfully pulled off the taking down of Osama bin Laden. Hoping to re-create the ratings magic, Lauer and Roker will get their prostates checked out, live, by a doctor and discuss the importance of prostate screening for men over 40.
When she left the show in June 2006, Couric said on her final broadcast that undergoing the first televised colonoscopy was her proudest accomplishment. Read More »
Two-time Olympic figure skater Johnny Weir announced on NBC‘s Today this morning that he is retiring from competition and joining the network’s coverage team for the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. He’ll be joined by 1998 Olympic gold medalist Tara Lipinski, and 2006 ice dance silver medalist Tanith Belbin, the network announced. Weir, the two-time Olympian and three-time U.S. champion, and Lipinski, the youngest individual gold medalist in the history of the Olympic Winter Games when she won in Nagano in 1998 at age 15, will serve as analysts for NBC Olympics’ multi-platform figure skating coverage. Belbin, a silver medalist in ice dancing at the Torino Olympics, will serve as a reporter for NBC Olympics’ Sports Desk and will present features for The Olympic Zone, NBC Olympics’ 30-minute daily show for NBC affiliates covering all aspects of the Games. Weir and Lipinski debut on NBC this Sunday at 4 PM ET alongside Terry Gannon on the network’s telecast of the 2013 Skate Canada International, featuring performances from the men’s and ladies’ free skate competitions. Read More »
Until the network figures out how to feature her in an episode of The Blacklist, it appears Miley Cyrus has completed her Strategic Hot Mess Tour through The Platforms Of NBC, with her appearance last night as the guest and music act for the entire hour of … Read More »
ABC News will officially announce tomorrow that Good Morning Americahas won the morning infotainment war for a full TV season. It marks GMA‘s first victory since the 1992-93 season in the news demographic, and in total viewers for the first time since the 1993-1994 TV season when the show was co-hosted by Charlie Gibson and Joan Lunden. GMA not only won every week of the season in total viewers (it won 43 weeks in the news demo), it also copped the No. 1-rated telecast of each of those weeks. For the full 51-week season (Nielsen specialed-out Hurricane Sandy Week owing to massive schedule, and reception, interruption), GMA clocked about 5.3 million total viewers and nearly 2 million adults 25-54, according to Nielsen Media Research.
Growing for a third straight year — up 9% compared to last season’s total viewer average of around 4.9 million — GMA won the 2012-13 season with its largest overall audience and largest season margin (about 680,000 viewers) over No. 2-ranked Today in more than 21 years. In adults 25-54, GMA also increased for the third year in a row — up 4% compared to last season’s demo average of 1.897 million — to deliver its strongest news demo performance in 5 seasons, and beat Today by its biggest news demo gap — nearly 90,000 – in 21 years. Read More »
Today fourth-hour co-hosts Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb have been signed to join the New York Daily News as columnists. NBC News’ Today has been making moves to boost its ratings against ABC News’ now-dominant Good Morning … Read More »
NBC News says the former heavyweight champ-turned-Broadway star will sit down with Matt Lauer in Las Vegas for an interview airing tomorrow morning on Today. Mike Tyson surprised the heck out of the press last week when they showed up for what they thought was a news conference about his return to boxing as a promoter, and instead listened as he told them, “I’m a motherfucker” who has been lying for years about being sober. Sure to come up will be this statement at last Friday’s news conference cum confessional: “I’m a bad guy sometimes. I did a lot of bad things, and I want to be forgiven. … I wanna change my life, I wanna live a different life now. I wanna live my sober life. I don’t wanna die. I’m on the verge of dying because I’m a vicious alcoholic. Wow. God, this is some interesting stuff.”
The newsman who covered President Kennedy’s assassination and the civil rights movement for CBS and was an anchor on NBC’s Todayin the mid-’70s has died of kidney failure In a Riverside hospice. Lew Wood … Read More »
ABC News’ morning infotainment program Good Morning America celebrated 52 consecutive weeks — one full year — in first place among viewers of all ages. That’s the show’s longest stretch at No. 1 in more than … Read More »
Congratulations Ann Curry! Your return to NBC on the one-year anniversary of your Today show ouster clocked bigger numbers than did Matt Lauer last week on his day with his exclusive Paula “I Is What I … Read More »
UPDATE, 10:06 AM: One day after Today‘s Paula Deen “get”, ABC’s Good Morning America was back on top, nearly 600,000 viewers ahead of Today and 31% in front in the adults 25-54 demo, which is the currency of news programming ad sales.
PREVIOUSLY, THURSDAY AM: NBC News boasted this morning that its Paula Deen interview on Today beat ABC’s genre-leading Good Morning America on Wednesday morning. It’s the first time Today has outstripped GMA since the Friday of Hurricane Sandy week, in November. According to early calculations, Today averaged 4.84 million viewers and GMA 4.67 million. To put this in perspective: One day earlier, GMA had clocked nearly 800,000 more viewers than Today, using the same early measurement system.
Paula Deen’s comments on Today this morning about her experience at the wrong end of a gun during a 1987 bank robbery dovetail with the statement made by the guy at the other end of the gun, according to the latest TV program to jump on the story today. “I was surprised when I walked in and saw the lady that was the teller at the window, because I knew her from the downtown bank where I normally bank,” the alleged robber said in his account of the incident, according to the police report obtained by CBS-distributed Inside Edition. “I thought she would recognize me because there were some holes in the stocking covering my face. I can’t remember her name, but I know who she is,” Inside Edition reported the man said, citing the police report. Deen told Matt Lauer this morning on Today that she had used “the N-word” just once, and in reference to this incident, during which she said the man’s hand was shaking, which caused her to fear he had recognized her. Deen is under the gun now because of a statement she made, during a deposition for a harassment suit that’s been filed against her, that she has used the racial slur in the past. Food Network announced it was dropping her after that deposition was leaked, and Walmart and Caesars Entertainment severed ties with the TV celebrity cook after her Today interview.
Celebrities on trial in the court of public opinion might want to think twice before using Today to get out their message. Almost immediately after Matt Lauer’s interview with Paula Deen on the program this morning, the show began critiquing it — and gave Deen mostly failing grades. “Paula Deen’s TODAY apology ‘failed’ and was ‘bizarre,’ experts say”, ran the Today.com headline. “Opinions are split over how effective her 13-minute mea culpa really was,” the show’s website’s critique said. The critique included reviews by public relations experts, one of whom noted, “(Former President Richard Nixon) never apologized by saying he was guilty or wrong about Watergate; she was the same way.”
“Toward the end it was kind of bizarre,” weighed in another. Insisting she’d only used the N-word once was a big strategic mistake, they all agreed. If anyone ever caught her on a cell phone making a racial slur “she’s done,” said one PR expert. The show ticked off the “other low points” in Deen’s appearance. Among them, she was accused of giving rehearsed responses and gestures, and of using “pidgin colloquialism” like “I is what I is.” Read More »