Week of Dec. 13 Evening News Ratings: World News Tonight Is No. 1 for Week; NBC Nightly News Wins Monday Across the Board

By A.J. Katz 

According to the most current data from Nielsen, ABC World News Tonight with David Muir held onto its status as the No. 1 evening newscast, winning the week of Dec. 13 in average total viewers (8.16 million) and among adults 25-54 (1.41 million).

ABC World News Tonight has now defeated both its NBC and CBS competition 159 of the past 160 weeks in average total viewers—and 88 of the last 90 weeks among adults 25-54. It was also the second-most-watched show on television last week, excluding sports and syndication.

That said, the newscast lost -3% in total viewers and -9% in adults 25-54 from the prior week (Dec. 6). Compared with the same week in 2020, the trend was even worse, with World News Tonight losing double-digit percent in average total audience (-16%) and among adults 25-54 (-23%).


Over on NBC, Nightly News with Lester Holt came in second for the week of Dec. 13, both in total viewers (7.49 million) and among adults 25-54 (1.25 million). Compared to the prior week, NBC’s evening newscast gained +2% in total viewers but lost -5% in adults 25-54. Compared to the same week in 2020, the newscast fell by -6% in total viewers and -19% in adults 25-54.

NBC Nightly News managed to finish No. 1 on Monday across the board. It’s a notable feat and was aided by the fact that the 6:30 p.m. PT edition of World News Tonight was preempted in West Coast markets by ABC’s live broadcast of Monday Night Football.

Nightly News was still able to achieve its most narrow total viewer gap vs. World News Tonight since the week of March 16, 2020 (excluding Nightly’s Thanksgiving week win), falling 674,000 average total viewers short of ABC for the week of Dec. 13. While NBC’s evening newscast has indeed gained some ground on its ABC rival in recent months (in total viewers) relative to Q1 of this year, it remains a distant second behind World News Tonight when it comes to attracting adults 25-54.

Additionally, on YouTube, full weekday episodes of Nightly News averaged 600,000 views and nearly 500,000 viewers this past week. That’s according to data from Adobe Analytics and Partner Portals; YouTube Analytics Portal.

The CBS Evening News with Norah O’Donnell averaged 5.09 million total viewers and 850,000 adults 25-54 for the week of Dec. 13. That’s -3% in total viewers and -4% in adults 25-54 viewers from what the newscast averaged the previous week.  Additionally, similar to ABC and NBC, CBS saw year-over-year losses in average total viewers (-14%) and among adults 25-54 (-22%).

Nielsen live-plus-same-day averages for the week of Dec. 13, 2021:

• Total Viewers: 8,160,000 7,486,000 5,090,000
• A25-54: 1,411,000 1,250,000 850,000




Source: The Nielsen Company, NTI Total Viewers, Adults 25-54 Live + SD Current Week (w/o 12/13/21), Previous Week (w/o 12/6/21) and Year-Ago Week (w/o 12/14/20). Most Current: 2021-2022 Season (9/20 – 12/19/21) and 2020-2021 Season (9/21 – 12/20/20). 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.