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.
The numbers for Wednesday morning are preliminary and are based on Nielsen’s timeslot tabulations. Muddying things up a bit: on Wednesday a gigantic live breaking news event — Supreme Court rulings — happened at 10 AM-ish ET (7 AM-ish PT), which means the news broke just as the morning infotainment programs were revving up on the West Coast. Because these Nielsen stats are not program adjusted, there is a chance they could change significantly when final ratings are ready.