It was a wild week for television news. The mid-term elections were on Tuesday, and networks sent their evening news anchors to broadcast their respective newscasts from California to cover the horrific wildfires on Thursday and Friday (ABC and CBS are still out there).
Evening newscasts delivered their largest audiences in weeks (ABC World News Tonight and NBC Nightly News turned in its largest A25-54 audience in 7 months).
Speaking of the David Muir-anchored newscast, World News Tonight ranked No. 1 in total viewers for the 7th consecutive week of the season, and the 39th consecutive week overall. World News also ranked No. 1 in Adults 25-54, leading NBC Nightly News on Wednesday and on Friday. It’s rare for ABC to beat NBC in the demo on two different nights during the same week.
It’s also worth noting ABC’s and CBS’ ratings averages are based on 4 days (Mon and Wed-Fri), while NBC decided not to re-title on mid-terms Tuesday (11/6).
NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt won the demo for the 15th straight week and hit a 33 week high. The broadcast also posted the narrowest total viewer gap against ABC since Pyeyongchang. Nightly News held steady in total viewers vs. last year, and was the only broadcast to grow year-over-year in the key A25-54 demo. But as mentioned, NBC did not retitle Nightly News on mid-terms Tuesday, which explains the year-over-year growth among younger news viewers, many of whom might not traditionally tune into the evening news unless there’s a big event on tap.
CBS Evening News with Jeff Glor was -7 percent in total viewers, and -10 percent in the key A25-54 demo vs. the same week last year.
All in all, an average of nearly 23.6 million people watched broadcast evening newscasts last week. That’s -4 percent vs. the same week in 2017.
Averages for the week of Nov. 5, 2018:
|• Total Viewers:||8,736,000||8,567,000||6,253,000|
Source: The Nielsen Company, NTI Total Viewers, Adults 25-54 Live + SD weeks of 11/5/18, and 11/6/17. Most Current: 2018 -2019 Season. Averages based on regular telecasts.