"Today" winning streak hits 12 years

Fri Dec 14, 2007 8:16am EST
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By Paul J. Gough

NEW YORK (Hollywood Reporter) - "Today" made history this week by cementing 12 years of unbroken ratings dominance.

It's both a record for any morning show, and it also marks the current longest winning streak in broadcast TV. That's 626 weeks, since December 11, 1995.

The NBC breakfastcast won the week of December 3 with an average of 6 million viewers, its most since February 12, and the margin of victory was the widest over ABC's second-place "Good Morning America" since March 26. "GMA" had 5.1 million viewers, and CBS' "The Early Show" averaged 3.1 million viewers.

Meanwhile, "Nightline" made history of its own, beating both "The Tonight Show" and "Late Show With David Letterman" for the second week, according to data released Thursday by Nielsen Media Research.

For the week ended last Friday, "Nightline" averaged 3.9 million viewers, vs. 1.5 million for Leno and 1.4 million for Letterman.

It was the first time "Nightline" had been on top for two weeks in a row since May 1995. Both "Tonight" and "Late Show" have been in repeats since early November 5, thanks to the Hollywood writers strike.

That's been good news for "Nightline," which has seen double-digit increases in audience at the same time that its competition has seen double-digit declines. "Nightline" is up 23% in adults 25-54 compared to a year ago, and up 16% in viewership.

Reuters/Hollywood Reporter

<p>Meredith Vieira (L) smiles beside co-host Matt Lauer during her first day on NBC's "Today" show in New York September 13, 2006. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid</p>