All smiles on the set… but is it all nailbiting for producers?
The wars between the Today Show and Good Morning America are at a fevered pitch – with just 140,000 viewers between them. Will Katie Couric’s week as a guest co-host on GMA narrow the gap – or even break NBC’s winning streak?
NBC’s Today (my alma mater and still like home) has been the ratings winner since 1995 – but the ratings race hasn’t been this tight in a long time. (Six years, in fact.)
For the week of March 19, NBC still won, but ABC’s “Good Morning America” continued it’s climb ever closer to the the leader. The gap last week between the two shows was 140,000 Total Viewers and 210,000 adults between 25-54 years.
Now, as Robin Roberts takes the week of April 2nd off, former Today-er Katie Couric will be guest co-hosting.
While some believe that this is a calculated strategy to go after Today, others insist it is just as much a means of measuring reaction to Couric being back in the daytime space, as she prepares for her upcoming talk show, which debuts in September. But let’s be honest: The Couric daytime show is already a done deal – whatever comes of the week ahead will not have a huge impact on the talk show. Staffing has already begun, with the additional leadership roles being assigned. Among them, Todd Polkes, formerly of The Joy Behar Show and CNN’s Starting Point with Soledad O’Brien.
Couric guest co-hosting GMA is probably, more than anything, an effort both to keep Couric’s visibility high (note her recent cameo covering Dancing With The Stars) and a fortuitous opportunity to tighten the gap without putting pressure on anyone. Today staffers were reportedly surprised when the news got out, long believing that Couric would never go back to a morning show, out of the fear that her record as a morning show winner could be tarnished.
The Today Show has been making news of it’s own lately, as tabloids speculated that part of Matt Lauer’s contract renewal was contingent on removing Ann Curry from the co-host chair. Reports pegged Savannah Guthrie as the heir apparent to the co-host slot.
Speculating and tabloid rumors aside, one thing is for certain: A LOT of people will be watching the ratings next week.
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