Ratings for day one of this week's Network Morning-Show Smackdown are in, and so far, adding Katie Couric back into the mix doesn't appear to be a game-changer. Monday's edition of Today on NBC averaged 5.1 million viewers, beating the Couric co-hosted Good Morning America by 333,000 viewers; in the key news demographic of viewers aged 25 to 54, Today's lead was an even larger 444,000. A helpful Today rep also points out that GMA earned higher Monday ratings last week, and the week before that.
The spin from ABC News? Today wins the ratings race almost every day, so Monday's results aren't some giant shock. What's really important, per an ABC News insider, is that GMA continues to close the once-wide gap separating it from Today. And indeed, by that measure, ABC did make progress Monday: The 333,000 viewers separating it from Today was notably smaller than the 457,000 viewer gap between the two shows during the first quarter of this year. And that 457,000 difference between Today and GMA marked the tightest race between the two shows in sixteen years.
Ratings for today's Palin versus Couric battle will be available tomorrow.