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Lauer, Holt, Colbert and Corden are February sweeps winners

And the local winners of the national news and comedy battles in households are … Matt Lauer, Lester Holt and Stephen Colbert.

Western New York generally doesn't follow the national viewership habits of network news and comedy programs.

If you don't think lead-ins still matter, just check out the local results during the February sweeps.

NBC's morning program "Today," which has fallen behind ABC's "Good Morning America" nationally in viewers but still wins the key demos, is a decisive winner here in households and in the key 25-54 demo. That is at least partly due to the strong lead-in it receives from Channel 2's popular morning program "Daybreak."

All three national morning programs were up slightly from a year ago.

"Today" averages a 7.6 household rating on Channel 2 here in a sweeps period in which Lauer's co-host Savannah Guthrie was on maternity leave for most of it.

"GMA," which gets a third place morning lead-in from Channel 7 here, is second with a 3.8 household rating.

"CBS This Morning" is third here on Channel 4 with a 3.2 household rating. It gets a decent lead-in from Channel 4 but also competition from the station's own extended morning program on sister station WNLO-TV.

While the nightly network newscasts lost viewers nationally, all three had slight household increases in Western New York.

Nationally, ABC had the most-watched nightly newscast and NBC had the better demos.

Locally, "NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt," which gets a strong lead-in from Channel 2's 6 p.m. newscast, is a dominant No. 1 here with a 10.7 household rating and it also wins the 25-54 demo decisively. It holds almost a 2-1 lead in households over ABC's "World News Tonight with David Muir," which gets a weak lead-in from Channel 7. Muir's newscast averages the same 5.4 household rating it had a year ago. "The CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley" is second here with an 8.6 household rating on Channel 4, up slightly from a year ago.

The results in the late-night comedy business are an exception in that Western New York is following the national trends.

CBS' "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert," which won the February sweeps nationally in viewers for the first time but was second in the key demo, is No. 1 here with a 3.8 average rating on Channel 4. That is up more than 30 percent from a year ago. It also was No. 1 here in the key 25-54 demo. Colbert's program also is helped some by Channel 4's news lead-in, but that didn't matter a year ago so more of his success can be attributed to his nightly bashing of President Trump.

The kinder and gentler "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon" is second with a 2.5 household rating on Channel 2, down about 20 percent from a year ago.

"Jimmy Kimmel Live" on Channel 7 is third here with the same 1.6 rating the Oscar host had a year ago.

"The Late Late Show with James Corden," which starts an hour after Kimmel, actually has a higher average rating. It averaged a 1.9 rating on Channel 4, up about 33 percent from a year ago. "Late Night with Seth Meyers" on Channel 2 averaged the same 1.3 rating it had a year ago opposite Corden.

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