Journalism

‘Good Morning America’ to Begin Third Hour

ABC’s flagship morning show, ‘Good Morning America’ is expanding later this year…but what will the network name this additional hour?

It’s a cinch that the third hour of Good Morning, America will have a different name. That’s because it won’t be on in the morning.

Maybe we should be expecting Good Afternoon America instead?

The news about the program’s expansion came shortly before the tsunami over the cancellation of Roseanne came to light. Deadline reported the new hour of ‘GMA’ would replace The Chew, which ABC decided to cancel after 7 seasons. The Chew will continue to air until September, it reported, when the new program takes its place.

But that new hour will take The Chew’s 1:00 pm timeslot (at least on the east coast), and that’s well past the “morning.”

NBC’s Today has aired as a three-hour program for years now. In fact, it introduced the third hour, from 9:00 am to 10:00 am, way back on October 2, 2000. (Doesn’t seem like it’s been that long, does it?) The network then introduced its fourth hour, which would later become Today with Kathy Lee and Hota, from 10:00 am to 11:00 am on September 10, 2007. Megyn Kelly Today replaced the third hour on September 25, 2017.

Good Morning America made its debut on November 3, 1975, but has always been a two-hour show on weekday mornings.

‘Good Afternoon America’ happened once before.

There was a short-lived afternoon edition of ‘GMA’ once before. For nine weeks during the summer of 2012, ‘GAA’ aired weekdays at 2:00 pm. Wikipedia recalls that the show was taped immediately after Good Morning America and focused on “lighter fare, with the exception of the July 20 edition, which provided live coverage of the Aurora Century 16 theater shooting.”

“We believe there is great opportunity for viewers and advertisers in expanding to a third hour,” Ben Sherwood, president of Disney/ABC Television, said. Translation: They think they can make more money from a third hour of Good Morning America than from The Chew.

And they’re probably correct: news shows can be cheaper to produce than talk shows. And in the past few years, Good Morning America has been a much more powerful player against Today in the morning news wars, even besting the 66-year-old NBC morning show numerous times.

As a child of the 1970s who grew up in the last “golden age” of daytime game shows, I’m still hoping TV executives will clear out some room for games to make a comeback; the only problem is it’s hard to find a competent emcee these days.

So maybe, for the moment, ABC’s expansion might be just the thing for ABC’s daytime lineup.

Would you watch a third hour of ‘Good Morning America’ — or whatever it ends up being called?

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Patrick is a Christian with more than 27 years experience in professional writing, producing and marketing. His professional background also includes social media, reporting for broadcast television and the web, directing, videography and photography. He enjoys getting to know people over coffee and spending time with his dog.