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Dec 12, 6:02 PM EST

NBC's 'Today' in ratings lead after Matt Lauer's firing



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NEW YORK (AP) -- Matt who? NBC's "Today" show was the most-watched morning program for the first full week after long-time host Matt Lauer was fired because of sexual misconduct charges.

The Nielsen company said it was the first time in a year that "Today" had beaten its rival "Good Morning America" at ABC for two consecutive weeks.

The show's victory the previous week wasn't very surprising. With all of the attention given to Lauer's firing, it was to be expected that more viewers than usual would tune in to see how people on the show would react to the news.

Maintaining that lead for the week after Lauer's exit was more interesting. "Good Morning America" generally gets the most viewers in the morning, although NBC's advantage among younger viewers makes it the more lucrative show.

NBC hasn't said anything about Lauer's replacement, but the ratings have to be considered good news for Hoda Kotb, who has filled in as Savannah Guthrie's co-host since the morning Lauer's firing was announced. NBC currently has no one else scheduled for a fill-in week.

"Today" averaged 4.58 million viewers last week to 4.38 million at "Good Morning America." ''CBS This Morning" was third at 3.57 million.

The CBS ratings illustrate virtually no change since that show's co-host, Charlie Rose, was also fired for sexual misconduct on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving. For the four last weeks when Rose was on the show, "CBS This Morning" averaged 3.61 million viewers, Nielsen said. During that same period, "Good Morning America" had 4.34 million viewers and "Today" had 4.22 million.

Behind two football games, NBC won the week in prime time, averaging 8.1 million viewers. CBS had 6.8 million viewers, Fox had 4.6 million, ABC had 4.1 million, Univision had 1.7 million, the CW had 1.3 million, ION Television had 1.27 million and Telemundo had 1.1 million.

Fox News Channel was the week's most popular cable network, averaging 2.53 million viewers to nose out Hallmark, which had 2.52 million. ESPN had 2.34 million, MSNBC had 1.87 million and Freeform had 1.55 million.

ABC's "World News Tonight" topped the evening newscasts with an average of 9.5 million viewers. NBC's "Nightly News" had 8.9 million and the "CBS Evening News" had 7.1 million for new anchor Jeff Glor's first week.

For the week of Dec. 4-10, the top 10 shows, their networks and viewerships: NFL Football: Baltimore at Pittsburgh, NBC, 17.2 million; NFL Football: New Orleans at Atlanta, NBC, 14.61 million; "The Big Bang Theory," CBS, 14.41 million; "Sunday Night NFL Pre-Kick," NBC, 12.62 million; "Young Sheldon," CBS, 12.49 million; NFL Football: Pittsburgh at Cincinnati, ESPN, 10.91 million; "The Voice" (Tuesday), NBC, 10 million; "60 Minutes," CBS, 9.996 million; "The Voice" (Monday), NBC, 9.87 million; "Blue Bloods," CBS, 9.4 million.

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ABC is owned by The Walt Disney Co. CBS is owned by CBS Corp. CW is a joint venture of Warner Bros. Entertainment and CBS Corp. Fox is owned by 21st Century Fox. NBC and Telemundo are owned by Comcast Corp. ION Television is owned by ION Media Networks.

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Online:

http://www.nielsen.com

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