Somewhere, Ann Curry is probably smiling.
According to just-released Nielsen ratings for the month of September,Â NBCâs TODAY, which had been the top rated morning show for 16 years in a row, is now a solid No. 2 behind ABCâs GMA.
TODAYâs gradual slide earlier this year intensified in late June when the Peacock Network ousted a teary-eyed Ann Curry as co-anchor of the program - reportedly at the urging of Matt Lauer, who has faced a firestorm of criticism since her departure.
While the viewer backlash over Curryâs departure initially resulted in TODAYâs ratings taking a hit, the show rebounded somewhat during the London Olympics, but in September, the race wasnât even close: GMA beat TODAY by 807,000 total viewers on a typical day. GMA averaged nearly 5.1 million viewers, while TODAY saw about 4.3 million. TODAYâs viewer hasnât eroded this much since 1995, the year that it became top dog over GMA.
As RadarOnline.com has previous reported, in wake of the ratings slide, TODAY is expected to feature Curry ,55, moreÂ -Â as a special correspondent or "anchor-at large" - in the hopes of regaining angry viewers.
The success of Good Morning America during September is especially interesting since the show was without one of its main players - anchor Robin Roberts, who remains on medical leave after undergoing a bone marrow transplant to treat a rare blood disorder.
On Wednesday, Roberts posted a picture to Twitter of a visit by two of her co-hosts, Josh Elliott and Sam Champion. In a blog post later on Thursday, Ms. Roberts wrote, âI have been in the hospital 25 days now. My bone marrow transplant took place exactly two weeks ago. The only numbers that matter are my blood counts and they areâ¦ GREAT!â
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