Week of Aug. 30 Evening News Ratings: World News Tonight Remains No. 1, And Posts Year-Over-Year Growth Among Adults 25-54

By A.J. Katz 

Nielsen data for the week of Aug. 30, 2021 is in, and ABC World News Tonight with David Muir was once again the most-watched show on television, averaging 8.52 million total viewers for the week. It also remained the top evening newscast among adults 25-54, averaging 1.66 million from the key demo.

In addition to the continued dominance, ABC’s evening newscast grew its audience from the previous week, both in terms of average total viewers (+5%), and in the key A25-54 demo (+6%). And compared to the same week in 2020, World News Tonight shed -1% of its average total audience, but managed to grow +3% of its A25-54 demo audience.

Season to date, World News Tonight is the most-watched evening newscast for the 5th consecutive season, based on most current Nielsen data.


NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt averaged 1.36 million adults 25-54 and 7.12 million total viewers this past week, which is the newscast’s largest average audience in 25 weeks. Nightly News was also the third-most-watched show on all of U.S. TV. The broadcast grew an impressive +9% in adults 25-54 and +3% in average total viewers from the prior week (Aug. 23). On the downside, Nightly shed -9% in A25-54 viewers, and -6% in average total viewers from the same week in 2020.

Additionally, on YouTube, weekday episodes of Nightly News earned 1.1 million views and 857,000 viewers watched for more than 12 minutes on average. That’s according to data from Adobe Analytics and Partner Portals, and the YouTube Analytics Portal.

CBS Evening News with Norah O’Donnell averaged 5.16 million total viewers this past week, the show’s largest average audience for a week since April, and +10% more than what it averaged the previous week. The broadcast also averaged 936,000 adults 25-54 this past week, which is +2% in the measurement from the previous week.  However, the newscast lost -5% in average total viewers and -4% in A25-54 from the year ago week.

CBS Evening News was the most-watched show on CBS every day it aired last week, and No. 1 in the demo on Monday and Tuesday.

*Nielsen ratings for ABC’s, NBC’s and CBS’ evening newscasts are based on four-day averages (Monday-Thursday).

Nielsen live-plus-same-day averages for the week of Aug. 30:

• Total Viewers: 8,521,000 7,116,000 5,162,000
• A25-54: 1,659,000 1,357,000 936,000




Source: The Nielsen Company, NTI Total Viewers, Adults 25-54. Live + SD Current Week (w/o 8/30/21), Previous Week (w/o 8/23/21) and Year-Ago Week (w/o 8/31/20). Most Current: 2020 -2021 Season (9/21/20-9/5/21) and 2019-2020 Season (9/23/13-9/6/20). 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.