Week of Aug. 3 Evening News Ratings: World News Tonight Marks 10 Straight Weeks as the Most-Watched Show on TV

By A.J. Katz 

ABC World News Tonight with David Muir continues to win the evening news ratings race as we move into the dog days of August.

ABC’s flagship newscast finished the week of Aug. 3 as the No. 1 evening newscast, both in Total Viewers (8.44 million) and in Adults 25-54 (1.66 million). Not only that, but World News Tonight’s 8.44 million Total Viewers average for the week means it was the most-watched show on all of U.S. television for the 10th consecutive week.

ABC’s evening newscast was a solid +13% in the A25-54 demo and +5% in Total Viewers from the same week in 2019 (week of Aug. 5).  However, the newscast was -2% in Total Viewers from the previous week (July 27) and flat in the key demo.


Overall, World News Tonight is having its most-watched season in 17 years and strongest key Adults 25-54 performances in five years—since the 2003-04 and the 2015-16 seasons, respectively.

NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt continues to finish in second place behind WNT in the key measurements. The newscast averaged 7.46 million Total Viewers and 1.48 million Adults 25-54 during the week of Aug. 3. It was the second most-watched show on all of U.S. television (excluding sports and syndication) and No. 3 on U.S. TV among Adults 25-54.

Nightly News grew +2% in A25-54 demo viewers from the prior week (July 27) and remained flat in Total Viewers. It grew from the year-ago week (Aug. 5) in Total Viewers (+4%), but was -2% in A25-54 demo viewers.

For the week of Aug. 3, first-run broadcasts of The CBS Evening News with Norah O’Donnell averaged 5.26 million Total Viewers and 960,000 A25-54 viewers. Including the 4 a.m. re-air, the average bumps up to 5.76 million Total Viewers and 1.10 million Adults 25-54.

Compared to the prior week, Evening News was flat, both in Total Viewers and in the key demo. Relative to the year-ago week, Evening News was +8% in Total Viewers and flat in the demo.

It’s worth keeping in mind that Evening News once again decided to retitle its Friday broadcast, and its week of Aug. 3 ratings are based on just four days.

*Nielsen ratings for ABC, NBC and CBS include additional airings at various times during the day, and in a variety of markets, large and small.

Nielsen live-plus-same-day averages for the week of Aug. 3:

• Total Viewers: 8,438,000 7,458,000 5,257,000
• A25-54: 1,655,000 1,484,000 960,000




Source: The Nielsen Company, NTI Total Viewers, Adults 25-54 Live + SD Current Week (w/o 8/3/20), Previous Week (w/o 7/27/20) and Year-Ago Week (w/o 8/5/19). Most Current: 2019-2020 Season (9/23/19-8/9/20) and 2018-2019 Season (9/24/18-8/11/19). 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 8/03/20 based on Total Day.