Week of December 11 Evening News Ratings: World News Tonight Remains No. 1 as Newscasts Shed Viewers

By A.J. Katz 

ABC World News Tonight with David Muir finished the week of December 11 at No. 1 in the evening news ratings race, but shed viewers from the week before.

Per live plus same day data from Nielsen, World News Tonight averaged 7.69 million total viewers and 1.01 million A25-54 viewers this past week. That’s down -2% in total viewers and down -4% in A25-54 viewers from the week before (Dec. 4, 2023). When compared with the year-ago week (Dec. 12, 2022), the trend is worse as ABC’s evening newscast is down -11% in total viewers and -29% in A25-54 viewers.

The Monday, Dec. 12 broadcast of World News Tonight was retitled to “WNT-ABC” and excluded from the show’s weekly and season ratings average due to ESPN Monday Night Football airing on ABC, a common practice throughout the regular NFL season to-date. ABC’s averages are based on four days.


Despite the mediocre ratings trend, World News Tonight has still managed to average more total viewers than NBC and CBS for 263 of the last 264 weeks, and more adults 25-54 for 192 of the last 194 weeks. It was also the most-watched daily program across broadcast and cable TV for the week.

NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt averaged 6.66 million total viewers and 956,000 A25-54 viewers this past week, down -1% and -6%, respectively, from the week prior. Additionally, the newscast shed -10% in total viewers and lost one-quarter of its A25-54 audience relative to the year-ago week.

Despite the linear viewing decline, Nightly News managed to beat World News Tonight on Friday by +60,000 A25-54 viewers, and is as close to World News Tonight in overall viewership as it has been since the 2019-’20 TV season.

Additionally, according to data from Adobe Analytics and Partner Portals—and the YouTube Analytics Portal, full weekday episodes of NBC Nightly News on YouTube earned an average of  687,000 total views and 548,000 viewers this past week.

Changing channels, The CBS Evening News with Norah O’Donnell averaged more than 4.71 million total viewers but just 643,000 Adults 25-54 for the week of Dec 11. That’s relative steady from the week before down -1% and flat, respectively, from what the newscast averaged the week prior. Similar to ABC and NBC, CBS Evening News’ year-over-year trend was poor. The newscast saw a -10% decline in total viewers and a -21% decline in A25-54 viewers from the year-ago week.

All in all, a poor week for the evening newscasts, Nielsen ratings-wise, and with the holiday season in full swing, viewership probably won’t improve all that much until early next year.

Nielsen live-plus-same-day averages for the week of Dec. 11, 2023:

• Total Viewers: 7,688,000 6,657,000 4,712,000
• A25-54: 1,008,000 956,000 643,000

Source: The Nielsen Company, NTI Total Viewers, Adults 25-54 Live + SD Current Week (w/o 12/11/23), Previous Week (w/o 12/4/23) and Year-Ago Week (w/o 12/5/22). Most Current Data Stream: 2022-2023 Season (9/25 – 12/17/22) and 2022-2023 Season (9/19 – 12/11/22). 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.