Today Todayshow07__120726201155-200x129finished first among 25- to 54-year-olds for the week – its first demo win in nearly six months. The NBC morning infotainment show edged out ABC’s Good Morning America by 18,000 viewers in the age bracket, while also snagging its closest total-viewer position relative to front-runner GMA in nearly a year.

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Today actually outstripped GMA in the news demo on every morning of the week except Friday, when GMA posted a commanding 212,000 lead – its  second-largest Friday margin of the season over the NBC program. On Monday, Today led by a mere 1,000 demo viewers, Tuesday by 26,000 and Thursday by 67,000. But Wednesday, when GMA sent Robin Roberts and Josh Elliott to the Vatican to cover the huge crowd gathered to hear Pope Francis’ last public-speaking engagement of 2013 (the pope having just been named Time magazine’s Person of the Year), GMA fell 211,000 viewers behind Today. That wiped out GMA’s boost on Friday, when Roberts hosted GMA’s review of the year, in partnership with People magazine.

On the bright side for GMA, all three of the broadcast network morning infotainment programs were up in ratings compared to same week last year, though Today showed the most growth, percentage-wise:  12% in overall audience and 16% in the demo.