Evening News Ratings: Week of Sept. 23

By A.J. Katz 

The season may be new, but the trend remains the same: ABC is home to the most-watched evening newscast, while NBC is No.1 in the genre among adults 25-54.

For the week of Sept. 23, NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt topped ABC in A25-54 demo viewers by +62,000 (+4%) and CBS by +678,000 (+75%).

One of the newscast’s highlights from the week was Holt’s sit-down with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson in his first U.S. network television interview.


Anchored by David Muir, ABC World News Tonight opened the 2019-20 broadcast news season with the largest premiere week total viewer victory in 24 years (since the 1995-1996 season), averaging +682,000 more total viewers than its NBC competitor to win premiere week in total viewers for the 4th consecutive year – since the 2016-17 season.

On Wednesday, Muir had a one-on-one interview with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani – winning the night across the key categories of Total Viewers and Adults 25-54.

For the second consecutive week, the evening newscasts were down versus the same week last year. World News Tonight was -3% in total viewers, and -5% in the key A25-54 demo. Nightly News was -5% in total viewers and -10% among adults 25-54. The CBS Evening News with Norah O’Donnell was -10% in total viewers, and -21% among adults 25-54.

Dr. Christine Blasey Ford and Judge Brett Kavanaugh testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday during the comparable week last year, an event which most certainly lifted 2018-2019 premiere week news ratings. In fact, NBC Nightly News was the sole evening newscast to air nationally following the Thursday testimonies.

Average audience for the week of Sept. 23 2019:

• Total Viewers: 7,961,000 7,279,000 5,068,000
• A25-54: 1,522,000 1,584,000 906,000



Source: The Nielsen Company, NTI Total Viewers, Adults 25-54 Live + SD weeks of 9/23/19, and 9/24/18. Averages based on regular telecasts.

Note: Nightly News ratings are comprised of telecasts with regular titling and include overnight airings on owned stations.