Week of April 27 Evening News Ratings: World News Tonight Is Most-Watched Show in America for 3rd Straight Week

By A.J. Katz 

ABC World News Tonight with David Muir was the most-watched newscast for the week of April 27, marking 75 consecutive weeks at No. 1 in Total Viewers. ABC’s evening newscast has also finished ahead of its NBC and CBS competition in the key Adults 25-54 demo for five consecutive weeks.

World News Tonight’s average of 10.54 million total viewers last week made it the most-watched program on all of television for the third consecutive week. This is according to live-plus-same-day data from Nielsen.

Overall, World News Tonight is seeing its most-watched season in 16 years and strongest key Adults 25-54 performances in four years—since the 2003-04 and the 2015-16 seasons, respectively.


It also owns the top spot in the A25-54 demo for the first time at this point of a season in 12 years—since the 2007-08 season.

Compared to the same week in 2019, however, World News Tonight was +25% in Total Viewers and +30% in the key A25-54 demo. However, compared to the prior week in 2020, the newscast once again shed audience: -4% in Total Viewers and -9% in A25-54 viewers.

Per usual, the network aired World News Tonight at 3:30 p.m. in Los Angeles and San Francisco.

The NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt finished in second place across the board for the fourth consecutive week. Nightly News was still the third-most-watched program on television last week (excluding sports and syndication), averaging 9.51 million viewers in total, which according to Nielsen live-plus-same-day data is more than 60 Minutes.

Compared to the same week in 2019, Nightly News was +25% in Total Viewers and +25% in the key demo. Compared to the prior week in 2020, Nightly was down only -1% in Total Viewers and -3% in the key A25-54 demo.

Nightly News’ ratings include 7:30 p.m. airings on NBC-owned stations in the New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Miami and Hartford, Conn., markets, which give the broadcast a lift.

The CBS Evening News with Norah O’Donnell was CBS’ most-watched show last Monday and ranked among the network’s five-most-watched shows each day of last week.

According to Nielsen data, Evening News averaged 6.55 million total viewers and 1.14 million A25-54 viewers last week. However, including the new 4 a.m. re-air, CBS says its evening newscast brought in a gross audience of 7 million total viewers and 1.26 million A25-54 viewers. As of now, Nielsen does not take that 4 a.m. re-air 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 +15% in Total Viewers and +7% in the key demo. However, versus the prior week in 2020, the broadcast was -2% in Total Viewers and -10% in the demo.

Ratings for the evening newscasts are still strong compared to this point last year. However, we’ve been seeing a steady week-to-week decline in viewers ever since the stay-at-home order was instituted in mid-March. Those March 2020 evening news ratings were massive.

What’s happening? Perhaps interest in news concerning Covid-19 is waning? The weather is getting warmer? Some states are loosening their restrictions? All of the above? We’ll continue to keep an eye on this trend.

Nielsen live-plus-same-day numbers for the week of April 27:

• Total Viewers: 10,540,000 9,512,000 6,552,000
• A25-54: 2,137,000 2,084,000 1,144,000




Source: The Nielsen Company, NTI Total Viewers, Adults 25-54 Live + SD Current Week (w/o 4/27/20), Previous Week (w/o 4/20/20) and Year-Ago Week (w/o 4/29/19). Most Current: 2019-2020 Season (9/23/19-5/3/20) and 2018-2019 Season (9/24/18-5/5/19).

Nielsen ratings for ABC, NBC and CBS include additional airings in select markets. Averages based on regular telecasts. Broadcast and Cable ranker for w/o 4/27/20 based on Total Day.