ABC’s Good Morning America — one of this year’s biggest Oscar winners. The morning infotainment program enjoyed its biggest overall audience — 6.3 million viewers – at least since Nielsen’s electronic records debuted in 1991, and outperformed NBC’s Today by nearly 1 million viewers for the week immediately following the network’s Academy Awards broadcast. GMA’s news demo haul of 261,000 viewers for the week of March 3 is its best delivery in eight years, handing the show its biggest weekly demo lead over Today in 10 weeks.
ABC’s late-night show, Jimmy Kimmel Live, also got an Oscar shot in the arm — posting a 14-week high in overall audience and an 11-week best in the demo, while NBC’s The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon came down week-to-week in the demo as that program finds its new normal with Fallon as host. That said, Fallon’s overall crowd of 4.537 million for the week handily beat Kimmel’s 2.744 million and CBS host David Letterman’s 2.761 million. In the demo, the Tonight Show not only topped JKL it beat its ABC and CBS rivals combined.
With Oscars on its side, GMA last week beat Today by 3,000 viewers in the 18-49 age bracket Today typically dominates. GMA more than tripled its lead over Today, week to week, both in total viewers (988,000 compared to 326,000) and news demo (261,000 compared to 78,000). Monday’s post-Oscar episode was GMA’s strongest single-day performance in both total viewers (7.162 million) and in the news demo (2.876 million) since the royal wedding nearly three years ago (April 29, 2011). On its Monday broadcast, the GMA gang anchored live from Los Angeles, showcasing highlights of the previous night’s broadcast and interviewing some of the big winners. The next morning, GMA unveiled the new celebs competing in the upcoming season of ABC’s primetime Dancing With The Stars. As the week went on, Today recouped somewhat, cutting GMA’s total viewer gap by 52% and the news demo by 69% compared to the Monday/Tuesday blowout. And, despite getting bloodied earlier in the week, Today was up for the week compared with the same week last year.
To put this in context, ABC’s Academy Awards broadcast logged its biggest U.S. TV audience in a decade (and scored about twice as many viewers as NBC’s broadcast of the Golden Globe Awards).