Week of Aug. 29 Evening News Ratings: Excluding Sports, World News Tonight Is Most-Watched Show for 21st Consecutive Week

By A.J. Katz 

According to live-plus-same-day data from Nielsen, World News Tonight with David Muir averaged 7.45 million total viewers and 1.275 million adults 25-54 for the week of August 29. The 7.45 million figure means World News Tonight is not only the top-rated evening newscast, but it’s also the most-watched show on U.S. TV—excluding sports—for the 21st consecutive week. Additionally, ABC’s evening newscast has now defeated its competition from NBC and CBS 196 of the past 197 weeks in average total viewers—and 125 of the last 127 weeks among adults 25-54.

World News Tonight managed to gain +3% in total viewers and +4% from the adults 25-54 demo vs. the previous week (August 22).  The year-over-year trend was worse, however, with the broadcast down -13% in total viewers and -23% among adults 25-54 from the comparable week in 2021 (Aug. 30), a time when TV news was covering the aftermath of the Afghanistan exit crisis.

NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt averaged 6.16 million total viewers on the NBC network this past week. That’s up +1% from the week prior and places the broadcast at No. 4 on U.S. TV, excluding specials, sports and syndication. Nightly News also averaged 980,000 adults 25-54 this past week—which is -1%  from the week prior. Like WNT, Nightly News saw year-over-year declines, down -13% in total viewers and -28% among adults 25-54.


Weekday episodes of Nightly News attracted 703,000 views and 564,000 viewers on YouTube. This is according to data from Adobe Analytics and Partner Portals, as well as YouTube Analytics Portal.

The CBS Evening News with Norah O’Donnell averaged 4.24 million total viewers—and just 690,000 adults 25-54 for the first week of the September Nielsen calendar. That’s -5% when it comes to total viewers—and -5% in adults 25-54 from the previous week. Evening News is also -18% in total viewers—and -26% among adults 25-54 vs. the comparable week in 2021.

CBS, NBC and ABC retitled their Friday night telecasts, aware that ratings would be especially low leading into a holiday weekend. On Friday Sept. 2, CBS Evening News was retitled to “CBS Evening Nws.” NBC Nightly News retitled its Friday telecast to “NBC Nitely News.” ABC World News Tonight retitled its Friday telecast to “WNT-ABC.” The retitled telecasts are excluded from the weekly and season averages. As a result, ABC’s, CBS’ and NBC’s weekly evening news ratings averages are based on just four days (Monday-Thursday).

Nielsen live-plus-same-day averages for the week of Aug. 29, 2022:

• Total Viewers: 7,449,000 6,158,000 4,239,000
• A25-54: 1,275,000 980,000 690,000




Source: The Nielsen Company, NTI Total Viewers, Adults 25-54 Live + SD Current Week (w/o 8/29/22), Previous Week (w/o 8/22/22) and Year-Ago Week (w/o 8/30/21). Most Current: 2021-2022 Season (9/20/21 – 9/4/22) and 2020-2021 Season (9/21/20 – 9/5/21). Nielsen ratings for ABC, NBC and CBS include additional airings in select markets. Beginning 8/31/20, national ratings also include Out of Home (OOH) viewing. Averages based on regular telecasts.