It took three tumultuous years, a dozen line-up changes and one sensational backflip – but the Today show is once again the darling of breakfast TV

It took three tumultuous years, a dozen line-up changes and one sensational backflip – but the Today show is once again the darling of breakfast TV. 

 Karl Stefanovic and Allison Langdon – the show’s third hosting duo in as many years – have started September in an unfamiliar position: on top.

Through the first eight days of September, Today has had more east coast viewers than Sunrise (they never have and never will win in Perth) and are killing it in Brisbane.

It took three tumultuous years, a dozen lineup changes and one sensational backflip - but the Today show is once again the darling of breakfast TV

It took three tumultuous years, a dozen lineup changes and one sensational backflip - but the Today show is once again the darling of breakfast TV

So what went wrong for Sunrise? (Pictured: Sunrise hosts Sam Armytage and David Koch)

So what went wrong for Sunrise? (Pictured: Sunrise hosts Sam Armytage and David Koch)

It’s called chemistry! It took three tumultuous years, a dozen line-up changes and one sensational backflip – but the Today show is once again the darling of breakfast TV

On Monday, Today delivered its closest five-city metro result compared to Sunrise since Lisa Wilkinson (remember her?) was Karl’s co-host in 2017 – trailing in overall viewership by just 8,000.

Flashback to the same Monday in May, and that gap was a whopping 94,000 people.

So what sparked Today’s spectacular turnaround?

Karl? Ally?

Why don’t we ask Sunrise executive producer Michael Pell, who infamously threw fuel on the breakfast TV fire at the start of the year.

Winning duo: Karl Stefanovic and Allison Langdon - the show's third hosting duo in as many years - have started September in an unfamiliar position: on top (on the east coast at least)

Winning duo: Karl Stefanovic and Allison Langdon - the show's third hosting duo in as many years - have started September in an unfamiliar position: on top (on the east coast at least)

Winning duo: Karl Stefanovic and Allison Langdon – the show’s third hosting duo in as many years – have started September in an unfamiliar position: on top (on the east coast at least)

What year is it? On Monday, Today delivered its closest five-city metro result compared to Sunrise since Lisa Wilkinson (right) was Karl's co-host in 2017 - trailing by just 8,000 viewers

What year is it? On Monday, Today delivered its closest five-city metro result compared to Sunrise since Lisa Wilkinson (right) was Karl's co-host in 2017 - trailing by just 8,000 viewers

What year is it?

On Monday, Today delivered its closest five-city metro result compared to Sunrise since Lisa Wilkinson (right) was Karl’s co-host in 2017 – trailing by just 8,000 viewers

‘When you watch Sunrise you feel warm and happy, and doesn’t the world need a bit of that right now?’ Pell told News.com.au in January.

‘On our side of the fence, there’s been very little change in what we’ve done for many years and I think people appreciate that.’   

And yet Sunrise has failed to heed its own advice this year, handing David Koch and Sam Armytage four-day work weeks and frequent one-off absences. 

‘I feel like I never see Kochie and Sam together anymore, even though they do three days together.

Karl and Ally, on the other hand, are always there delivering the news and fun,’ industry expert Rob McKnight of the <a style="font-weight: bold;" class="class" rel="nofollow noreferrer noopener" target="_blank" website Rob & Robbo show told Daily Mail Australia. 

So what sparked Today's turnaround? Why don't we just ask Sunrise executive producer Michael Pell (centre) who threw fuel on the fire in January when he said: 'When you watch Sunrise you feel warm and happy, and doesn't the world need a bit of that right now?'

So what sparked Today's turnaround? Why don't we just ask Sunrise executive producer Michael Pell (centre) who threw fuel on the fire in January when he said: 'When you watch Sunrise you feel warm and happy, and doesn't the world need a bit of that right now?'

So what sparked Today’s turnaround?

Why don’t we just ask Sunrise executive producer Michael Pell (centre) who threw fuel on the fire in January when he said: ‘When you watch Sunrise you feel warm and happy, and doesn’t the world need a bit of that right now?’

'On our side of the fence, there's been very little change in what we've done for many years and I think people appreciate that,' Pell added. And yet Sunrise has failed to heed its own advice this year, handing Kochie and Sam four-day work weeks and frequent one-off absences

'On our side of the fence, there's been very little change in what we've done for many years and I think people appreciate that,' Pell added. And yet Sunrise has failed to heed its own advice this year, handing Kochie and Sam four-day work weeks and frequent one-off absences

‘On our side of the fence, there’s been very little change in what we’ve done for many years and I think people appreciate that,’ Pell added.

And yet Sunrise has failed to heed its own advice this year, handing Kochie and Sam four-day work weeks and frequent one-off absences

When the highly-paid Sunrise anchors are together, they occasionally appear frosty and disconnected.

Debates turn into arguments on a weekly basis. 

And for much of 2020, Sunrise has taken a ‘softer’ approach to news compared to its rivals. Only recently has it adopted a more aggressive stance on COVID-19 coverage.

With the pressure on and their once-insurmountable lead shrinking to almost nothing, Sam and Kochie finally stepped up this week and slammed some of the excesses of Daniel Andrews’ Stage Four lockdown. 

The news with a twist! 'I feel like I never see Kochie and Sam together anymore, even though they do three days together. Karl and Ally, on the other hand, are always there delivering the news and fun,' industry expert Rob McKnight told Daily Mail Australia

The news with a twist! 'I feel like I never see Kochie and Sam together anymore, even though they do three days together. Karl and Ally, on the other hand, are always there delivering the news and fun,' industry expert Rob McKnight told Daily Mail Australia

The news with a twist! ‘I feel like I never see Kochie and Sam together anymore, even though they do three days together.

Karl and Ally, on the other hand, are always there delivering the news and fun,’ industry expert Rob McKnight told Daily Mail Australia

The history of the ‘breakfast TV wars’  

The golden girl: Nine's Today show has been playing catch-up in the 'breakfast TV wars' ever since Karl Stefanovic's long-term co-host Lisa Wilkinson left over a pay dispute in 2017, never to be heard from again

The golden girl: Nine's Today show has been playing catch-up in the 'breakfast TV wars' ever since Karl Stefanovic's long-term co-host Lisa Wilkinson left over a pay dispute in 2017, never to be heard from again

The golden girl: Nine’s Today show has been playing catch-up in the ‘breakfast TV wars’ ever since Karl Stefanovic’s long-term co-host Lisa Wilkinson left over a pay dispute in 2017, never to be heard from again

A touch of frost: She was replaced by Georgie Gardner, who had clashed with Karl frequently in the past. The lifeless pair delivered the program's worst ratings year in a decade

A touch of frost: She was replaced by Georgie Gardner, who had clashed with Karl frequently in the past. The lifeless pair delivered the program's worst ratings year in a decade

A touch of frost: She was replaced by Georgie Gardner, who had clashed with Karl frequently in the past.

The lifeless pair delivered the program’s worst ratings year in a decade

Nine’s breakfast show has been playing catch-up in the ‘breakfast TV wars’ ever since Karl Stefanovic’s long-term co-host Lisa Wilkinson left over a pay dispute in 2017, never to be heard from again.

She was replaced by Georgie Gardner, who had clashed with Karl frequently in the past.

The lifeless pair delivered the program’s worst ratings year in a decade. 

The network blamed the failure on Karl’s highly publicised marriage breakdown and subsequent romance with younger fashion model Jasmine Yarbrough. 

By the end of 2018, Channel Nine’s ‘two-million dollar man’ was out.

Excuses: The network blamed the failure on Karl's highly publicised marriage breakdown and subsequent romance with younger fashion model Jasmine Yarbrough (pictured on their wedding day). By the end of 2018, Channel Nine's 'two-million dollar man' was out

Excuses: The network blamed the failure on Karl's highly publicised marriage breakdown and subsequent romance with younger fashion model Jasmine Yarbrough (pictured on their wedding day). By the end of 2018, Channel Nine's 'two-million dollar man' was out

Excuses: The network blamed the failure on Karl’s highly publicised marriage breakdown and subsequent romance with younger fashion model Jasmine Yarbrough (pictured on their wedding day).

By the end of 2018, Channel Nine’s ‘two-million dollar man’ was out 

In 2019, veteran anchor Deborah Knight was brought in to form the first ever all-female breakfast duo in Australian history. The ratings sunk even further.

Today had gone from being neck-and-neck to dead in the water in the space of three years.

Then, in a sensational backflip, Nine re-hired Karl at the start of the year, pairing him with popular and charismatic news reporter Allison Langdon. 

Their on-screen chemistry is palpable – and the numbers are starting to reflect it.

‘Karl and Ally have proven to have great chemistry and the show has been quietly evolving in the background to the point where it’s pretty compelling TV in the morning,’ said McKnight

Sunk cost fallacy: In 2019, veteran anchor Deborah Knight (left) was brought in to form the first ever all-female breakfast duo in Australian history. The ratings sunk even further. Today had gone from being neck-and-neck to dead in the water in the space of three years

Sunk cost fallacy: In 2019, veteran anchor Deborah Knight (left) was brought in to form the first ever all-female breakfast duo in Australian history. The ratings sunk even further. Today had gone from being neck-and-neck to dead in the water in the space of three years

Sunk cost fallacy: In 2019, veteran anchor Deborah Knight (left) was brought in to form the first ever all-female breakfast duo in Australian history.

The ratings sunk even further. Today had gone from being neck-and-neck to dead in the water in the space of three years

New recruit: In a sensational backflip to begin 2020, Nine re-hired Karl and paired him with popular and charismatic news reporter Allison Langdon. The pair's on-screen chemistry is palpable - and the numbers are starting to reflect it

New recruit: In a sensational backflip to begin 2020, Nine re-hired Karl and paired him with popular and charismatic news reporter Allison Langdon. The pair's on-screen chemistry is palpable - and the numbers are starting to reflect it

New recruit: In a sensational backflip to begin 2020, Nine re-hired Karl and paired him with popular and charismatic news reporter Allison Langdon. The pair’s on-screen chemistry is palpable – and the numbers are starting to reflect it

High praise: 'Karl and Ally have proven to have great chemistry and the show has been quietly evolving in the background to the point where it's pretty compelling TV in the morning,' said industry expert Rob McKnight

High praise: 'Karl and Ally have proven to have great chemistry and the show has been quietly evolving in the background to the point where it's pretty compelling TV in the morning,' said industry expert Rob McKnight

High praise: ‘Karl and Ally have proven to have great chemistry and the show has been quietly evolving in the background to the point where it’s pretty compelling TV in the morning,’ said industry expert Rob McKnight

<div class="art-ins mol-factbox tvshowbiz" data-version="2" id="mol-85fc7c50-f191-11ea-9f7a-5f7fac3ab3e3" website the Today show FINALLY toppled &apos;unbeatable&apos; Sunrise

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