Evening News Ratings: Week of Aug. 12

By A.J. Katz 

The week of Aug. 12 was a good one for ABC News, as its morning and evening newscasts finished No. 1 in total viewers and among adults 25-54.

World News Tonight with David Muir was the No. 1 evening newscast among total viewers and the key A25-54 demo for the 5th time in the last 6 weeks.

World News also turned in its largest overall audience in over three months –  since the week of April 29, and its largest A25-54 audience since the week of June 3.


Nevertheless, season to date, World News Tonight ranks No. 1 in total audience for the 3rd year in a row after finishing No. 1 for the last two seasons, and is delivering its largest total audience lead over NBC in 23 years (since the 1995-96 season), and its largest lead over CBS in at least 27 years.

One caveat: ABC’s evening newscast was rated for just three days (Mon-Wed) due to NFL preseason football pre-emptions in some small markets. If the newscasts had been rated for the same number of days (Nightly News was rated for all five), Nightly would have likely finished No. 1 among adults 25-54.

Despite a second place finish, NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt is still the most-watched evening newscast among younger news audiences, including the advertiser-preferred A25-54 group. It has been No. 1 in this demo for 12 consecutive years.

For the first time since the newscast launched last month,  the CBS Evening News with Norah O’Donnell averaged more than 1 million A25-54 viewers last week.

However, as was the case with ABC, there’s a caveat here. CBS Evening News averages from last week are based on just four days (Mon-Thurs).

Compared to the same week in 2018, ABC was +5% in total viewers, NBC was -3% in total viewers, while the CBS Evening News was -8%. In the A25-54 demo, ABC was +2%, NBC -7% and CBS Evening News was -8% vs. the comparable week last year.

Nielsen numbers for the week of August 12:

• Total Viewers: 8,370,000 7,170,000 5,132,000
• A25-54: 1,559,000 1,517,000 1,034,000




Source: The Nielsen Company, NTI Total Viewers, Adults 25-54 Live + SD, 2018-19 Current Week (w/o 8/12/19), and Year-Ago Week (w/o 8/12/18). Season to date: Most Current: 2018 -2019 Season and 2017-2018 Season . Averages based on regular telecasts.