Evening News Ratings: Week of Sept. 2

By A.J. Katz 

ABC and NBC once again split the evening news weekly ratings race, with World News Tonight with David Muir finishing the week of Sept. 2 as the most-watched evening newscast in total viewers, and Nightly News with Lester Holt averaging the most adults 25-54.

World News outdelivered its NBC rival by a +805,000 total viewer average this past week, widening its margin of victory year to year by +27% and winning for the 49th in the 50 weeks of the broadcast news season.

Additionally, ABC’s flagship newscast presently has its largest total viewer lead over NBC in 23 years (since the 1995-1996 season) and largest lead over CBS in at least 27 years (since at least the start of Nielsen electronic database in 1991-1992 season).


NBC Nightly News topped ABC and CBS in the key A25-54 demo this past week by +5% and +50%, respectively.

NBC’s flagship newscast remains No. 1 among adults 25-54 this season to-date, leading both of its rival evening newscasts in the measurement for the 12th straight season.

This past week, Holt led the network-wide series Justice for All, looking at criminal justice reform and mass incarceration in America.

The CBS Evening News with Norah O’Donnell has been averaging more than five million total viewers in recent weeks after getting off to a slow start, and delivered more than 5.4 million this past week, which is the newscast’s largest average audience with O’Donnell in the anchor chair.

Compared to the same week last year (which included Labor Day), ABC World News Tonight was +1% in total viewers, but was -1% in the demo. CBS Evening News was -3% in total viewers and -1% among adults 25-54. NBC Nightly News was -2% in total viewers, and -2% among adults 25-54.

On Labor Day Monday (9/2/19), World News Tonight, Nightly News and Evening News were coded as specials due to Labor Day and each telecast is excluded from the averages; and due to NFL Thursday Night Football on Thursday (9/5/19), NBC Nightly News was was excluded from the weekly averages.

ABC’s and CBS’ weekly ratings averages are based on four days (Tue-Fri), while NBC’s averages are based on three days (Tue-Wed and Fri).

This was also true for the comparable week last year.

Average audience for the week of Sept. 2 2019:

• Total Viewers: 8,386,000 7,581,000 5,413,000
• A25-54: 1,594,000 1,670,000 1,110,000




Source: The Nielsen Company, NTI Total Viewers, Adults 25-54 Live + SD, 2018-19 Current Week (w/o 9/2/19), and Year-Ago Week (w/o 9/3/18). Season to date: Most Current: 2018 -2019 Season and 2017-2018 Season . Averages based on regular telecasts.