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Over the past few years, there has been a lot to cringe over at Today on NBC, as the long-running morning show has gone through several personnel changes both in front of and behind the camera, among other uncomfortable incidents. This year was particularly trying in some respects, given everything Billy Bush went through, but as 2016 comes to a close, Today got some wickedly awesome news that has to make some of those troubles worth it. For the first time in over four years, the NBC series managed to snag the top ratings spots for a non-Olympic month in broadcast morning shows.

Considering all the bad news that's being reported these days, from celebrity deaths to all things politics, it must be nice for NBC to finally have this achievement to brag about again. Every since June 2012, Today has been held to second place behind ABC's perennial fave Good Morning America, but that all changes now. (I wonder if there's a jewel-crusted championship belt that gets passed around in these situations.) And it seems to indicate that Today is going through a resurgence in viewers.

In December, Today averaged 4.79 million viewers, which managed to top Good Morning America by less than 100,000 people. (CBS This Morning, meanwhile, was over a million viewers behind the NBC stalwart.) This is the seventh time in eight weeks that Today has bested Good Morning America in all the big areas, and the show is closer to its biggest rival in total viewers than it's been in five years. In this post-election month, it's not immediately obvious why Today is reaping such rewards, but I'd guess seeing Al Roker in a Santa hat had a small part to play in it.

Today also won out the month in the 18-49 adult demographic (1.06 rating) and the 25-54 demo (1.51), beating out the other two shows by a solid enough margin. This side of the victory isn't quite as surprising, considering Today has been on top of the 18-49 demo for a whopping 25 years. As well, it's been riding atop the 25-54 demo ratings for the past 52 weeks, which is the first time that's happened in four years.

Not that everything was top-notch news for Today. As far as the entirety of 2016 is concerned, Good Morning America won out in total viewer averages, netting 3.44 million to Today's 3.33 million. The NBC series was also down in the Q4 period, with right around 100,000 people being the difference in total viewers there as well. It'll be interesting to see if Today and Good Morning America make any big changes going into 2017 in attempting to draw more people in.

You can watch Today every weekday morning on NBC at 8:00 a.m. ET. Hopefully the show will bring Corey Feldman back for a mind-numbing celebratory performance. To see what else the small screen will offer you in the near future - though admittedly for the primetime hours and not breakfast time - head to our midseason premiere schedule.

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