Week of Dec. 6 Evening News Ratings: ABC, NBC, CBS’ Newscasts Hold Relatively Steady in Total Viewers; World News Tonight No. 1 in All Measurements

By A.J. Katz 

ABC World News Tonight with David Muir held onto its status as the No. 1 evening newscast during the week of Dec. 6, both in average total viewers (8.39 million) and among adults 25-54 (1.55 million).

According to live-plus-same-day data from Nielsen, World News Tonight was the second-most-watched show on all of TV, excluding sports and syndication, of course.

The newscast grew by less than +1% in total viewers, but lost -3% in adults 25-54 from the prior week (Nov. 29). Compared with the same week in 2020, World News Tonight was down double-digit percent in average total audience (-12%) and among adults 25-54 (-16%).


By winning the week of Dec. 6 ratings race, ABC’s evening newscast has defeated both NBC and CBS competition 158 of the past 159 weeks in average total viewers, and 87 of the last 89 weeks among adults 25-54.

NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt averaged 7.33 million total viewers and 1.32 million adults 25-54 last week, making it the fourth-most-watched TV show, excluding sports and syndication. The 7.33 million average total viewers is less than -1% from the prior week, while the 1.32 million adults 25-54 average is +4% from what the newscast averaged the prior week. Compared with the same week in 2020, Nightly News fell -7% in average total viewers, and -16% among adults 25-54.

On YouTube, full weekday episodes of Nightly News averaged 658,000 views and nearly 526,000 viewers this past week. That’s according to data from Adobe Analytics and Partner Portals; YouTube Analytics Portal.

When it comes to average total viewers, NBC Nightly News has closed the gap with ABC World News Tonight a bit, especially compared to the chasm that existed between the two newscasts earlier this year. However, that viewership gap, season-to-date, is still substantial and World News Tonight maintains a commanding lead in the A25-54 demo.

Let’s not forget about the CBS Evening News with Norah O’Donnell, which averaged 5.245 million total viewers during the week of Dec. 6. That number is less than +1% from previous week. The newscast also averaged 890,000 adults 25-54, which is +2% from the prior week. Additionally, similar to ABC and NBC, CBS saw year-over-year losses in average total viewers (-9%) and among adults 25-54 (-15%).

Nielsen live-plus-same-day averages for the week of Dec. 6, 2021:

• Total Viewers: 8,391,000 7,332,000 5,245,000
• A25-54: 1,552,000 1,319,000 890,000




 Source: The Nielsen Company, NTI Total Viewers, Adults 25-54. Live + SD Current Week (w/o 12/6/21), Previous Week (w/o 11/29/21) and Year-Ago Week (w/o 12/7/20). Most Current: 2021-2022 Season (9/20 – 12/12/21) and 2020-2021 Season (9/21 – 12/13/20). 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.