‘CBS This Morning’ Catches Up With ‘Today,’ ‘GMA’ in Viewers

CBS is closer to its morning show rivals than anytime in the last 18 years

In the battle of the morning shows, CBS finished the week ending March 31 the closest it’s been to NBC’s “Today” show among total viewers in 29 years — and the closest to ABC’s “Good Morning America” in 18 years.

“GMA” averaged 4.24 million viewers, while “Today” averaged 4 million. “CBS This Morning” was within 400,00 viewers, averaging 3.64 million viewers. In past years, viewer gap often approached 3 million viewers on a regular basis, following the show’s rebranding on CBS five years ago.

Earlier this year, “CTM” executive producer Ryan Kadro told TheWrap that it’s only a matter of time before the show gets out of the basement.

“Our growth is fairly unlimited at the point,” Kadro told TheWrap. “People are still discovering the show and you can’t say that about the other brands.”

“CTM” is up one percent compared to the same point last season, while “GMA” is down seven percent and “Today” is down six percent over the same period.

The CBS morning show, co-hosted by Charlie Rose, Gayle King and Norah O’Donnell, aims to offer an alternative to its sometimes-gimmicky rivals with what Kadro refers to as “relevant” news that “seeps into people’s lives.”

“CTM” has recently made news with a variety of interviews, including Chelsea Clinton discussing her potential political aspirations on Tuesday and other recent segments with Paul Ryan and Dave Chappell.

“The ‘Today’ show has been on for 60 years, we’ve been on for five. ‘Good Morning America’ has been on for 40 years,” Kadro said. “People are familiar with those brands and they know them, they’ve made decisions about them. I think if you look at the way the audience has eroded for both those shows over the course of five years, people are tuning away from them.”