07/14/2008 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Gap Between Morning Show Competitors Widest In Four Years

At this point no one could blame ABC's "Good Morning America" for developing a Wile E. Coyote complex: Every time it gets so close to NBC's "Today" that it can all but taste victory, its nemesis bolts off, leaving only the taste of dust.

No competition in television has gone this way for this long: As of last week "Today" led the morning ratings for 655 weeks in a row -- more than 12 years. And nothing appears to be changing. Though "Good Morning America" made another run at "Today" in October, closing the weekly gap to about 200,000 viewers, the zoom-away move took place a short time later.

Now the gap is wide again, the biggest it has been in four years. Since the start of the year "Today" is up about 3 percent, leading "Good Morning America," which is down 6 percent, by about 1.2 million viewers a week. ("The Early Show" on CBS trails far behind the other two programs.)

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