Breakfast TV: How Sunrise became complacent and let Today catch up in the ...

After years spent languishing in the ratings, Nine's Today show is finally closing the gap with Channel Seven's Sunrise.

Fronted by Karl Stefanovic and Allison Langdon, the once-struggling breakfast program has been steadily growing its audience in recent weeks. 

While it remains in second place behind Sunrise, which is hosted by Sam Armytage and David 'Kochie' Koch, the latest figures suggest that Today is on track to steal the top spot.  

Back in the game! After years spent languishing in the ratings, Nine's Today show is finally closing the gap with Channel Seven's Sunrise. Pictured: Karl Stefanovic and Allison Langdon

Back in the game! After years spent languishing in the ratings, Nine's Today show is finally closing the gap with Channel Seven's Sunrise. Pictured: Karl Stefanovic and Allison Langdon

TV Blackbox editor Rob McKnight, a former senior executive at Nine, believes that Today's steady growth since the start of the year 'will be of concern' for Sunrise bosses.

'Karl and Ally have great chemistry and the production team have worked hard to slowly evolve the show and those changes are paying off,' McKnight said.

'Sunrise won't go down without a fight though. Executive producer Michael Pell and his team will work hard and make changes to ensure viewers choose Sunrise for breakfast.'

Closing the gap: While Today remains in second place behind Sunrise, which is hosted by Sam Armytage (left) and David 'Kochie' Koch (right), the latest figures suggest that Today is on track to steal the top spot

Closing the gap: While Today remains in second place behind Sunrise, which is hosted by Sam Armytage (left) and David 'Kochie' Koch (right), the latest figures suggest that Today is on track to steal the top spot

McKnight believes that viewers are switching from Sunrise to Today in part because Sam and Kochie are only working four days a week.

In June, Sam's on-air duties were reduced from five days per week to four. Kochie also works the same hours, albeit on different days, meaning the two anchors only appear alongside each other three days a week.

This could be a problem for Sunrise, argues McKnight, because viewers 'like consistency' and want to see the same team every day of the week.

Industry insight: TV Blackbox editor Rob McKnight, a former senior executive at Nine, believes that Today's steady growth since the start of the year 'will be of concern' for Sunrise bosses

Industry insight: TV Blackbox editor Rob McKnight, a former senior executive at Nine, believes that Today's steady growth since the start of the year 'will be of concern' for Sunrise bosses

'Viewers like consistency and probably are unsure who they’re going to see in the [Sunrise] hosting chair from one day to the next,' he said.

This isn't the case with Today, which is hosted by Karl and Allison every weekday.

On Tuesday, the margin between Today and Sunrise's ratings in the five-city metro market reached its narrowest so far this year.

While Sunrise was the most-watched breakfast show (259,000), Today wasn't far behind (231,000).

Man on a mission: Today host Karl Stefanovic looked focused and determined as he left Channel Nine headquarters in Sydney on Wednesday

Man on a mission: Today host Karl Stefanovic looked focused and determined as he left Channel Nine headquarters in Sydney on Wednesday 

'Viewers like consistency': McKnight believes that viewers are switching from Sunrise to Today in part because Sam (pictured) and Kochie are only working four days a week

'Viewers like consistency': McKnight believes that viewers are switching from Sunrise to Today in part because Sam (pictured) and Kochie are only working four days a week

Today also beat Sunrise's audience in two out of the five major cities - reaching 64,000 viewers in Melbourne (Sunrise: 59,000) and 56,000 in Brisbane (Sunrise: 46,000). 

A week earlier, Today had claimed victory in the east coast capitals of Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, pulling a combined average audience of 191,000 - which was more than Sunrise's 189,000.

These figures represent a triumphant leap in the ratings for Today, which had previously dragged around 70,000 viewers behind Sunrise back in June.

Edging closer: On Tuesday, the margin between Today and Sunrise's ratings in the five-city metro market reached its narrowest so far this year. Pictured: Sam and Kochie

Edging closer: On Tuesday, the margin between Today and Sunrise's ratings in the five-city metro market reached its narrowest so far this year. Pictured: Sam and Kochie

McKnight said that Today's victory in

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