Week of April 13 Evening News Ratings: World News Tonight Marks 73 Consecutive Weeks as Most-Watched Evening Newscast

By A.J. Katz 

The last week’s evening newscast ratings are in, and viewership remains massive relative to this point in 2019.

Why the significant year-over-year ratings uptick? The news is nonstop and a majority of Americans are at home during the time (hopefully!) certainly play a role. It also helps networks oftentimes break into coverage to air the beginning of the Covid-19 task force daily press conferences, which serve as a great lead-in to each network’s nightly newscast.

ABC World News Tonight with David Muir was the most-watched newscast for the week of April 13, marking 73 consecutive weeks at No. 1 in Total Viewers. The ABC evening newscast has also finished No. 1 in Adults 25-54 for three consecutive weeks.


Averaging 12.3 million total viewers, World News Tonight was the second-most-watched television program last week, only trailing the One World: Together At Home special (which earned a combined 21 million viewers across four broadcast networks—ABC, CBS, NBC and The CW—along with a host of cable outlets).

Overall, World News Tonight is seeing its most-watched season in 16 years and strongest key Adult performances in four years—since the 2003-04 and the 2015-16 seasons, respectively.

According to live-plus-same day data from Nielsen, compared to the same week in 2019, World News Tonight was +46% in Total Viewers and +58% in the key A25-54 demo. Compared to the prior week in 2020, the newscast was +8% in Total Viewers and +10% in A25-54 viewers.

ABC presented re-airs of World News Tonight on a number of stations. The newscast also went back on the air live at 7:30 p.m. with new reports on a number of owned stations. These telecasts gave the program’s ratings a solid lift last week.

The NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt took second place across the board for the third consecutive week. However, it was still the fourth-most-watched program on television (excluding syndication), averaging nearly 10 million total viewers.

Compared to the same week in 2019, Nightly News was +26% in Total Viewers and +34% in the key demo. Compared to the prior week in 2020, Nightly was slightly down, -1% in Total Viewers and -1% in the key A25-54 demo.

NBC presented an additional 7:30 p.m. ET repeat airing of Nightly News in four markets, which gave the program a ratings lift (though not the quite the boost WNT earned from its additional broadcasts).

The CBS Evening News with Norah O’Donnell ranked among the four-most-watched CBS shows for the week. In fact, on April 13, CBS Evening News was the network’s most-watched show.

O’Donnell is also now the most-watched woman in television news.

According to Nielsen data, Evening News averaged 7 million total viewers and 1.3 million A25-54 viewers last week. However, including the new 4 a.m. airing, CBS says its evening newscast brought in a gross audience of 7.52 million total viewers and 1.46 million total viewers. As of now, Nielsen does not take that airing into account in its reporting.

CBS Evening News’ ratings are comprised of telecasts with regular titling and include overnight airings on owned stations.

Compared to the same week in 2019, Evening News was +21% in Total Viewers and +18% in the key demo. Compared to the prior week in 2020, Evening News was +1% in Total Viewers, but -8% in the demo.

Numbers for the week of April 13, 2020:

• Total Viewers: 12,295,000 9,846,000 *6,992,000
• A25-54: 2,708,000 2,285,000 1,301,000




Source: The Nielsen Company, NTI Total Viewers, Adults 25-54 Live + SD Current Week (w/o 4/13/20), Previous Week (w/o 4/6/20) and Year-Ago Week (w/o 4/15/19).

Most Current: 2019-2020 Season (9/23/19-4/19/20) and 2018-2019 Season (9/24/18-4/21/19). 

ABC, NBC and CBS all re-air broadcasts in select markets. NBC ran repeats of Nightly News at 7:30 p.m. on four of their stations. In addition to the double-air in Los Angeles and San Francisco markets, ABC went back on the air live at 7:30 p.m. ET with new reports partnering with some ABC-owned stations.

Averages based on regular telecasts.  Broadcast and Cable ranker for w/o 4/13/20 based on Total Day.