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the great morning tv war

Good Morning America Ends Sixteen-Year Losing Streak Against Today

NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 03:  Co-anchor of NBC's TODAY show Matt Lauer onset at NBC's "Today" at Rockefeller Center on June 3, 2011 in New York City.  (Photo by Jemal Countess/Getty Images)

The last time ABC's Good Morning America beat NBC's Today over the span of a week, Bill Clinton was president and, as we'd later learn, had just become friendly with an intern. More than sixteen years later, here we are: Preliminary Nielson numbers show that the longtime loser averaged 5,147,000 viewers last week to Today's 5,134,000 — an advantage of 13,000 people. The morning show wars have picked up media interest so far this year as the gap closed, with Katie Couric and Sarah Palin thrown in for extra zest. "Speechless," one ABC producer told the Times of the win. But gloating should probably be pretty minimal: newly re-signed Today host Matt Lauer was on vacation.

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Photo: Jemal Countess/2011 Getty Images