And now, ‘GMA’ with Robin Roberts
She's back after a long absence for a bone marrow transplant
February 20, 2013
“Good Morning America” has been beating “Today” among total viewers for months now, but the competition has become a lot closer among adults 25-54, where NBC recently put together a three-week win streak.
But this week “GMA” regains an advantage. Popular co-host Robin Roberts, who has been on leave since last fall recovering from a bone marrow transplant, returns today, an event that ABC has been hyping for weeks.
She hasn’t been entirely absent from the program. In fact, some TV critics have accused ABC of playing on people’s heartstrings because they’ve been airing so much footage of the co-host during her time in the hospital and during recovery.
She’s fighting the rare blood disorder myelodysplastic syndrome, or MDS, which arose as a complication of her breast cancer treatment several years ago.
ABC has even used footage of Roberts and her convalescence on its other news programs. On Friday, for example, “20/20” will air a special report on her recovery. To be fair, Roberts appears to be interested in raising awareness of the disease and has been entirely cooperative with the coverage.
Undoubtedly ratings will rise for her return this morning. “GMA” is already ahead in the February sweeps, averaging 5.385 million total viewers during the week ended Feb. 10 to “Today’s” 4.744 million.
Among 25-54s, “GMA” had its biggest lead in six weeks, drawing 2.043 million to the NBC show’s 1.994 million.
Still, “Today” has shown some ratings spunk in recent weeks, and it will be interesting to see if “GMA” can regain the edge it held in the demo last fall now that Roberts has returned.
A look at this week’s top TV draws
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 20
|8 p.m.||Fox||“American Idol” (R)||Ten males perform in the semifinal round in Vegas.|
|9 p.m.||ABC||“Modern Family” (C)||Claire runs into a professor she dated at her college reunion. Awkward.|
|9 p.m.||TV One||“Unsung” (N)||The first of back-to-back episodes looking at disco artists.|
|10 p.m.||PBS||“The Path to Violence” (N)||Looking at what, if anything, can be done to stop mass shootings.|
|10 p.m.||Discovery Channel||“Weed Country” (R)||Series premiere. Six-part series looking at police officers and marijuana growers and sellers in California.|
|10 p.m.||USA||“Necessary Roughness” (D)||Season finale. A scandal within the team could ruin the whole season.|
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 21
|8 p.m.||Fox||“American Idol” (R)||Tonight 10 females take the stage in the semifinals.|
|8 p.m.||Univision||“Premio Lo Nuestro” (A)||The 25th annual awards ceremony, hosted by Ninel Conde and Pedro Fernández.|
|8:30 p.m.||NBC||“Parks and Recreation” (C)||In the first of two episodes, things pick up with Leslie and Ben about to get married.|
|9 p.m.||Discovery Channel||“Auction Kings” (R)||The reality series kicks off its fourth season.|
|9 p.m.||Lifetime||“Project Runway” (R)||Country singer Miranda Lambert serves as the guest judge.|
|10 p.m.||ABC||“Scandal” (D)||Fitz tries to diffuse a hostage situation, and David thinks he’s being followed.|
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 22
|8 p.m.||Discovery Channel||“Gold Rush” (R)||Season finale. One of the crews will finally hit it big in a live two-hour finale.|
|8:30 p.m.||ABC||“Malibu Country” (C)||For her birthday all Lillie Mae wants is for Reba to join the bowling league–on an opposing team.|
|9 p.m.||CBS||“CSI: NY” (D)||Season finale. A community rises after police shoot an unarmed man.|
|9 p.m.||National Geographic Channel||“Cat Wars” (N)||For those who always wanted to know what would happen in a fight between a lion and a cheetah.|
|10 p.m.||NBC Sports Network||“College Hockey” (S)||A good matchup between nationally ranked teams North Dakota and Denver.|
|10:30 p.m.||IFC||“Out There” (C)||Series premiere. Animated comedy following a pair of 15-year-old boys.|
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 23
|2 p.m.||NBC||“PGA Golf” (S)||Quarterfinal matches from the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship.|
|4 p.m.||CBS||“College Basketball” (S)||Traditional Big East rivalry game between Georgetown and Syracuse.|
|8 p.m.||Fox||“Cops” (S)||Cops in Portland deal with a naked guy on a bike.|
|9 p.m.||Syfy||“End of the World” (M)||Two guys who watch a lot of disaster movies put that knowledge to use when it appears the world is doomed.|
|10 p.m.||IFC||“Independent Spirit Awards” (A)||Taped coverage of the annual movie awards show.|
|11 p.m.||ESPNU||“College Basketball” (S)||For those who can’t sleep, a Pac 12 matchup between Washington and Arizona State.|
SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 24
|12 p.m.||Fox||“NASCAR Racing” (S)||The 55th annual running of the Daytona 500.|
|1:30 p.m.||E!||“Countdown to the Red Carpet” (A)||And you thought Super Bowl pregame was ridiculous–this is a four-hour countdown to a three-hour red carpet show.|
|2 p.m.||NBC||“PGA Golf” (S)||Final round of the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship, won last year by Hunter Mahan.|
|8 p.m.||CBS||“The Amazing Race” (R)||The remaining 10 teams continue through Bora Bora.|
|8:30 p.m.||ABC||“Academy Awards” (A)||Seth MacFarlane hosts the 85th annual event.|
|9 p.m.||AMC||“The Walking Dead” (D)||Rick tries to figure out what to do next when security becomes an issue.|
|A = awards show or special, C = comedy, D = drama, DD = daytime drama, G = game show, K = kids, M = movie, N = news/documentary, R = reality, S = sports, T = talk/variety show.|
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