The Today show took full advantage of the controversy swirling around celebrity chef Paula Deen and scored a rare ratings victory over Good Morning America on Wednesday.
It was the first time that Today beat GMA since Hurricane Sandy hit the Northeast on Nov. 2 of last year, but because the storm knocked out power to millions of homes that day, it wasn’t official by Nielsen standards. That means the last outright victory for the Today show was on August 13, which was the day after the closing of the London Olympics.
It was a complete victory as well, with Today beating GMA in both the 25-54 demo (1.876 million to 1.708 million), and total viewers (4.798 million to 4.63 million).
While the victory was likely to last for just one day, it was the first bit of good news that Today has had in months, as it struggles to regain its footing after botching the Ann Curry firing last summer.
If the Today show wants to score another victory over GMA, Matt Lauer should offer Alec Baldwin a chance to come on the Today show and offer his apology for his recent gay slurs made after his wife was accused of tweeting during James Gandolfini’s funeral. Surely Baldwin’s sponsors, like Capital One, will dump him as fast as they did Paula Deen when they get wind of his comments to a journalist: “I’m gonna find you George Stark, you toxic little queen…” (for the rest, including the vile language, you’re going to have to go to the link). The fact that Baldwin is a liberal doesn’t exempt him from the same sort of treatment Deen got, or does it? I guess we’ll have to see. In case Matt Lauer doesn’t offer Baldwin a platform, we at AIM will, even if he cries while making his apology.