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April 3, 2012 by · 1 Comment 

All eyes on Monday were supposed to be on ABC’s Good Morning America, where Katie Couric was co-hosting for the week, or on the morning leader, NBC’s Today show. But, as it turned out, ratings for both shows were down from their season’s average. Could the reason have been that viewers were attracted by the appearance of Oprah Winfrey on CBS This Morning? Possibly. ABC and NBC released preliminary ratings results today showing that Today continued to lead with 5.11 million viewers, with GMA close — but still behind — with 4.78 million. CBS This Morning drew 2.9 million viewers, about a half million more than its average. Moreover, it was actually Winfrey’s appearance on CBS This Morning — in which she acknowledged that last year’s launch of her OWN cable channel was a mistake — that made the news. (See separate item.) Meanwhile, media writers had hoped that this morning’s (Tuesday) showdown between Couric on Today and Sarah Palin on Good Morning America would set off some sparks. But that didn’t pan out either, as neither guest host mentioned the other. While Couric has years of morning-show hosting behind her, Palin’s fill-in gig represented an unfamiliar role for the former vice-presidential candidate — and TV critics gave her high marks. The Associated Press’s Frazier Moore said that she “displayed natural poise.” And Morgan Little of the Chicago Tribune wrote that “what was most striking about Palin’s appearance was how she seemed less like a former candidate at the forefront of the political conversation and more like another anchor on the Today show.”