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'Good Morning America' thumps 'Today' for first time since 1996

April 16, 2012 | 12:28 pm

George Stephanopoulos on 'Good Morning America'

It's morning for America — "Good Morning America," that is.

ABC's a.m. extravaganza finally overthrew NBC's "Today" last week, ending its archrival's 16-year grip atop the weekly ratings.

"GMA," hosted by George Stephanopoulos and Robin Roberts — drew an average of 5,147,000 total viewers last week, just 13,000 more than "Today," according to Nielsen. While "GMA" has beaten "Today" before now on individual days, it hasn't done so in the weekly averages since 1996.

Perhaps more important to the long-term trends, "GMA" was up 7% compared with the same week a year ago, while "Today" sank 9%.

A word of caution, however: The margin is so tiny that it could easily be erased when the final figures are released later this week. "Today," ironically, just handed co-host Matt Lauer a rich new contract set to last for several years.

“This is an exciting day, but we will save any celebrating for when the final numbers come in on Thursday," Tom Cibrowski, "GMA's" senior executive producer, said in a statement.

What do you think? Is this the end of "Today's" dominance? What's your favorite morning show?


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Matt Lauer reups at "Today"

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— Scott Collins (

Photo: George Stephanopoulos is the co-host of "Good Morning America," which beat "Today" in the preliminary weekly ratings for last week for the first time in 16 years. Credit: Jennifer S. Altman/Los Angeles Times.