'Today' show dominates in ratings with Lauer firing

This Nov. 8, 2017 photo released by NBC shows Matt Lauer on the set of the "Today" show in New York. On the week host Matt Lauer was fired because of sexual misconduct charges, NBC’s “Today” show beat its rivals at ABC for the first time in three months. (Nathan Congleton/NBC via AP)

The Associated Press

While surely a week NBC wouldn't want to repeat, Matt Lauer's firing lured viewers to the "Today" show.

The NBC morning show beat ABC "Good Morning America" last week for the first week in three months, the Nielsen company said. "Today" had more viewers than "GMA" every day last week — the first time that has happened since last December.

NBC fired Lauer following a colleague's charge of an inappropriate relationship that began in 2014, and since then other women have come forward to charge him with impropriety. Viewers were told of his dismissal at the top of last Wednesday's show.

"Today" viewership shot up from 4.2 million on Tuesday to 5.7 million on Wednesday, Nielsen said. The show had 5.2 million viewers for Thursday's show, during which Lauer issued a statement about his behavior.

Oddly enough, the Lauer story appeared to help NBC News in the evening, too. NBC's "Nightly News" had 10.5 million viewers on Wednesday, when Lauer's firing was the lead story, and its advantage that night helped NBC beat ABC's "World News Tonight" for the week.

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