Bryant Gumbel may have given CBS’s morning numbers a slight spike with his ”Early Show” debut on Monday (it still landed in third, but with a 20 percent ratings increase from the Gumbel-less week before), but according to EW Online readers, he’ll never match the popularity of No. 1 mainstays Katie Couric and Matt Lauer at ”Today.” When asked who their favorite morning show hosts of all time are, EW readers overwhelmingly supported the current NBC team, with 48 percent of the vote.
While it’s too early for people to vote on Gumbel’s partnership with his new CBS cohost Jane Clayson, EW Online readers remembered him from his ”Today” reign: His teaming with Couric from 1991 to ’97 took second place in the poll (albeit a distant one) with 7.5 percent of the vote. Meanwhile, ABC’s current ”Good Morning America” team of Diane Sawyer and Charles Gibson finished fourth with 5.7 percent, right behind ”GMA”’s 1987-97 team of Gibson and Joan Lunden (7.3 percent). In last place: ”Today” host Dave Garroway and his chimp J. Fred Muggs (1953-1957), with 1.5 percent. Let that be a cautionary tale if Gumbel ever decides to trade Clayson in for an orangutan.