Looks like the Today show is doing just fine without alleged sexual predator Matt Lauer, as Entertainment Weekly reports ratings have jumped in the last week.
Today averaged 4.9 million viewers, including 1.7 million in the key 25-54 demographic, helping the morning news program edge out ABC’s Good Morning America for a change. CBS This Morning, which recently fired Charlie Rose amid sexual harassment allegations, nabbed the number three spot with 3.5 million viewers (900,000 in the 25-54 group). EW observes this is likely due to curiosity about the fallout from dozens of women accusing Lauer of sexual harassment, which led to his termination last week. The true measure of the show’s resilience will be if it can maintain the higher numbers in the coming weeks.
NBC hasn’t announced Lauer’s successor yet, but there’s no reason to think that Today co-hosts Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb can’t keep holding down the fort, especially in light of the composure and compassion they displayed in reporting their colleague’s dismissal and alleged predatory behavior. Lauer, meanwhile, has attempted to wring as much financial gain out of his ouster as possible—last week, his lawyers tried to negotiate a $30 million golden parachute, which the network shot down.