It seems Paula Deen still has at least one successful recipe in her proverbial recipe box, at least when it comes to TV ratings. Deen’s much anticipated interview with Matt Lauer helped cook up Today’s best ratings against Good Morning America since November, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Today beat GMA by 168,000 total viewers, and in the 25-54 adult demos as well.
Today saw another victory in the targeted adults 25-54 demographic, again topping GMA by 168,000 with a total of 1.876 million viewers and a 1.6 rating. GMA averaged a 1.4 rating. Wednesday's Morning show ratings were also likely affected by the half-hour special report on the Supreme Court rulings on gay marriage. It aired live during the broadcasts on the west coast. Final ratings will come in on Friday, July 5.
Just how unbearable was Today for Ann Curry in the months leading up to her exit? According to an excerpt published by the New York Times from Brian Stelter’s new book Top of the Morning: Inside the Cutthroat World of Morning TV, Curry told friends “her final months were a form of professional torture.”
One staff person recalled that “a lot of time in the control room was spent making fun of Ann’s outfit choices or just generally messing with her.” On one memorable spring morning, Curry wore a bright yellow dress that spawned snarky comparisons to Big Bird. The staff person said that others in the control room, which included 14 men and 3 women, according to my head count one morning, Photoshopped a picture of Big Bird next to Curry and asked co-workers to vote on “Who wore it best?”
ABC’s Good Morning America has a firm grip on its new throne as the king of the morning show wars. GMA was the No. 1 morning program during the first quarter of 2013 in both total Viewers (5.389 million) and among adults 25-54 (2.026 million), according to Nielsen Media Research.
Just how many new shows can Anderson Cooper do? According to Deadline, the journalist and Kathy Griffin filmed a pilot for CNN. The website is also reporting NBC approached Cooper to replace Today's embattled Matt Lauer.
I hear NBC toppers recently reached out to CNN’s Anderson Cooper to replace Lauer on the show before the end of the year. After their initial approach to Cooper, I hear NBC reached out to Lauer to get his blessing about the changeover. But I heard they got pushback from the Today veteran, who contacted Cooper to express his disapproval. I also hear that call caught Cooper by surprise, as he had assumed Lauer had been brought on board before NBC began making overtures.
Celebrity Apprentice and former Days of Our Lives star Lisa Rinna joined Hoda Kotb as a guest host on the fourth hour of Today on Monday. While the conversation wasn’t as hilarious as Hello Kitty grooming, the duo dished Sunday’s installment of Celebrity Apprentice and Rinna’s lips. Rinna credited her career to her legendary smackers.
"I never had a career before I had the lips. So my lips have had their own career! Without my lips, I would have had a different career, and that probably would have been a nice career."
Watch the clip after the jump!
Ann Curry’s ouster from Today left many viewers with ill feellings toward the long-running morning show. No one has felt the brunt of fan backlash more than Matt Lauer. The Daily Beast’s Howard Kurtz recently spoke with the morning show frontman, who finally gave his side of the story.
Lauer on Curry’s exit,
“I don’t think the show and the network handled the transition well. You don’t have to be Einstein to know that,” says Lauer.
“It clearly did not help us. We were seen as a family, and we didn’t handle a family matter well.”