NBC Today Show vs. ABC Good Morning America

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Difference between NBC Today Show and ABC Good Morning America

Among morning news programs currently in syndication, NBC’s Today Show and ABC's Good Morning America are two of the most widely viewed. Each show has its own distinctive approaches of course, but they do have quite a bit of similarity, as you will see in this comparison article.

NBC Today Show
ABC Good Morning America


One of the strategies implemented by the Today Show is the use of what is increasingly being referred to as "stunt programming” in which the anchor is placed in real world–and sometimes extreme–environments. Such was the case with “Ends of the Earth”, in which hosts of the program were placed on either pole of the planet and at the equator in order to examine the effects of climate change. The Today Show has also made its mark with extensive coverage of the primaries leading up to the U.S. presidential elections.

While the Today Show has a notable advantage in that it is able to utilize its network of cable channels in covering certain events such as MSNBC and NBC News, and even CNBC. However, Good Morning America did manage to boost rating somewhat by featuring teasers for popular TV programs, as it did for shows such as “Desperate Housewives” and “Dancing With the Stars”.

Stars Of The Show

Both shows also have key media figures that have managed to become the face for each of them respectively. The Today Show has Matt Lauer, who has by some accounts managed to engage viewers and encourage experimentation in a way that hasn't been seen since the days when Katie Couric was at the helm.

As for Good Morning America, it has and continues to rely on Diane Sawyer. A notable media figure in her own right, Sawyer was also thought by many to have effected a turnaround for the show when she joined it in 1999. Sawyer was particularly instrumental in raising the show's ratings with her coverage in North Korea and Iran in 2006 and 2007 respectively.


As far as current ratings go, it would seem that Good Morning America is destined to snap at the heels of the Today Show…at least for the moment. Every time it seems that Good Morning America is ready to take over the top spot from the Today Show, NBC would always manage to find a way to edge forward. As most industry observers are quick to point out, however, leads in the ratings for such shows are never permanent. Good Morning America may catch up to the Today Show at any time.

Similarities and Differences

NBC Today Show

  • Currently has the lead over Good Morning America, although this may not last
  • Has effectively utilized "stunt programming”, in which the anchor is placed in real world–and sometimes extreme–environments
  • Has Matt Lauer on board with Meredith Vieira, soon to be co-hosted by Ann Curry in place of Meredith.

ABC Good Morning America      

  • Currently lagging behind the Today Show in terms of ratings, although it may catch up anytime
  • Has Diane Sawyer on board

Which morning show has better hosts?
  • NBC Today Show
  • ABC Good Morning America

Discuss It: comments 2

  • Guest
  • S Foster wrote on November 2010

Meridith Rivera is a hinderance to ratings. She has a chip on her shoulder of some sort especially toward Matt Lauer

  • Guest
  • michael beiter wrote on April 2011

The reporting today is full of **** Matt, Diane, etc. dame they must think their talking to a bunch of idiots out here because their interviews become more stupid. This is why I stopped watching the evening news or I might if I want a good laugh. I would like new blood will see if CBS can get it right by axing Katie thank god!

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