Good Morning America (GMA) is a morning news show that is broadcast on the ABC television network, debuting on November 3, 1975. The weekday program airs for two hours; a third hour, available exclusively on ABC News Now, was introduced in 2007. The current one-hour weekend edition debuted in 2004.
The show features news, talk, weather, and special interest stories. It is produced live from Times Square Studios in New York City and fed to all network affiliates. The program is currently hosted by Diane Sawyer and Robin Roberts. Longtime anchor Charles Gibson left the program on June 28, 2006 to become the lead anchor of ABC World News.
GMA has traditionally run second in the ratings to NBC's Today, but overtook its rival for a period from the late 1980s to the mid-1990s under its most popular anchor team of Gibson and Joan Lunden. GMA has won both of the first two Emmy Awards for Outstanding Morning Program, sharing the 2007 award with Today and winning outright in 2008.
Unlike A.M. America and The Today Show, The Morning Exchange featured an easygoing and less dramatic approach by offering news and weather updates only at the top and bottom of every hour and used the rest of the time to discuss general-interest/entertainment topics. The Morning Exchange also established a group of regular guests who were experts in certain fields such as health, entertainment, consumer affairs, travel, etc. Also unlike both the NBC and ABC shows, The Morning Exchange was not broadcast from a newsroom set but instead one that resembled a suburban living room.
ABC took an episode of The Morning Exchange and used it as a pilot episode. After rave reviews for the pilot, the format replaced A.M. America in November 1975 as Good Morning America. Good Morning America's first host was David Hartman, featuring Nancy Dussault as his co-host. Dussault was replaced in 1977 by Sandy Hill.
Good Morning America continued to threaten The Today Show into the 1980s, especially after Brokaw left Today to become NBC Nightly News co-anchor with Roger Mudd for two years before being named sole anchor. For the first time, Good Morning America became the highest rated morning news program in the United States as The Today Show fell to second place. At the outset, Good Morning America was a talk program with a main host, David Hartman, who was joined by a sidekick co-host. Nancy Dussault and Sandy Hill were scripted as less than equal hosts. In 1980, Hill left Good Morning America and was replaced by Joan Lunden, an anchor for WABC in New York. Hartman and Lunden led the show through several seasons of success. Lunden's popularity led to her promotion to co-anchor. The partnership ended on February 20, 1987 as Hartman retired, following 3,189 programs. .
After Hartman's retirement, Lunden was paired with Charles Gibson on February 20, 1987 and ratings skyrocketed for Good Morning America. They became the most popular news partnership on television in the late 1980s and early 1990s and, for the first time, GMA regularly won the ratings battle against NBC's Today.
The show moved from the ABC News Headquarters in Lincoln Square to its present home at the Times Square Studios on August 30, 1999. The new location made it possible for the program to feature a live audience outside the studio (a la Today).
As of 2005, Good Morning America had still not prevailed over The Today Show in the ratings since 1995, though it had a few one-show victories, on the day after Pope John Paul II's funeral, and then with a Mariah Carey concert in 2005. Good Morning America has won in timeslots in large markets like New York, which might have been an indication that the audience was migrating from The Today Show. Recently, however, the viewership gap between Today and GMA has widened again.
On November 3, 2005, GMA celebrated its 30th birthday with recaps to 1975 and by decorating Times Square. Former co-hosts David Hartman and Joan Lunden, along with former meteorologist Spencer Christian were among the guests of honor. Hartman signed off the show that day with his trademark close "From all of us, make it a good day." On that day Good Morning America became the first morning news show to broadcast in HDTV.
On December 2, 2005, weatherman Tony Perkins left Good Morning America, where he has been the weather personality since 1999. The last ten minutes of the day's show was dedicated to Perkins, where he gave thanks to one of the show's producers and a heartfelt goodbye to the three anchors, Charles Gibson, Diane Sawyer, and Robin Roberts. Perkins announced that he was going to go home to his family and would be living in Washington, D.C., where he would go back to WTTG-TV, where he was previously a weather personality. He affectionately said to his young child on the air, "Connor, if you're watching, daddy's comin' home." Perkins was replaced by former Chicago WGN-TV morning sports anchor Mike Barz.
Charles Gibson ended his run on Good Morning America on June 28, 2006. The program was dedicated to Gibson's 19 years as anchor on GMA and celebrated his move to the anchor chair at WNT. Gibson ended his tenure by stating, "For 19 years, my mornings have been not just good — they've been great."
On June 29, 2007, movie critic for the show, Joel Siegel died at age 63 after a battle of cancer. The episode of July 9 was dedicated to Siegel, with former cast members Hartman, Hill, Lunden, Newman, Christian, Perkins and Gibson all appearing to share their memories.
On July 31, 2007, co-anchor Robin Roberts announced that she had been diagnosed with breast cancer, and that she has discovered the lump in a self-examination while preparing the Siegel tribute episode. She has remained as anchor while going through chemotherapy. She has completed radiation treatments as of March 28, 2008.
On October 22, 2007, Good Morning America introduced their new on screen appearance. Using much of their old on screen appearance design features, they went from a basic blue setting to a more orangish-gold setting. Their opening changed from the camera zooming in on the hosts while they introduced the host, to an opening with new music (by the New York based music production company, DreamArtists Studios) and a background with the Good Morning America logo falling onto the screen. They also changed their on screen ticker and bug for the first time in years. The ticker features an orange background with the modified ABC News logo. The bug still featured the time to the left but with an orange back drop with the letters GMA and ABC News.com logo to the right.
On January 15, 2008 during an interview with Diane Sawyer, Diane Keaton admired Sawyer's beauty, stating that if she had lips like Sawyer's, "then I wouldn't have worked on my fucking personality!" She said that she would also be married by now. Keaton quickly apologized for the remark and Sawyer threatened to have her mother "work on your personality with soap in your mouth." While this would formerly have been in violation of the Federal Communications Commission's decency laws, incurring a fine for Good Morning America producer and distributor ABC, officials of the FCC have stated that recent legal action and resultant policy changes may confound any action it chooses to take.
Orbit Satellite Television Network air "Good Morning America" on the channel "America Plus" Mondays through Fridays live at 1100 GMT in the Middle East and Europe.
In the Philippines, GMA's weekday edition is aired Tuesday to Saturday at 7.30 local time on Velvet. The weekend edition is aired live.
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