Week of December 4 Evening News Ratings: World News Tonight Maintains No. 1 Ranking Despite Shedding Viewers

By A.J. Katz 

ABC World News Tonight with David Muir finished the week of December 4 at No. 1 in the evening news ratings race, but saw a substantial audience drop-off from the prior week.

Per live plus same day data from Nielsen, World News Tonight averaged 7.81 million total viewers and 1.05 million A25-54 viewers this past week. That’s -8% in total viewers and -11% in A25-54 viewers from the week before (Nov. 27, 2023). When compared with  the year-ago week (Dec. 5, 2022), ABC’s evening newscast is down -8% in total viewers and -24% in A25-54 viewers.

The Monday, Dec. 5 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 262 of the last 263 weeks, and more adults 25-54 for 191 of the last 193 weeks. It was also the second-most-watched daily program across broadcast and cable TV for the week.

NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt averaged 6.71 million total viewers and 1.02 million A25-54 viewers this past week, -5% and -4%, respectively, from the week prior. Additionally, the newscast shed -5% in total viewers and -13% in A25-54 viewers relative to the year-ago week.

Additionally, according to data from Adobe Analytics and Partner Portals—and the YouTube Analytics Portal, full weekday episodes of NBC Nightly News earned an average of  679,000 total views and 535,000 viewers this past week; that’s an increase from the week prior.

Despite the decline, Nightly News managed to mark its most narrow A25-54 gap vs. World News Tonight in six weeks (since the week of Oct. 23, 2023), and is as close to World News Tonight as it has been since the 2019-’20 broadcast season.

Changing channels, The CBS Evening News with Norah O’Donnell averaged more than 4.78 million total viewers but just 644,000 Adults 25-54 for the week of Dec 4. That’s -5% and -10%, respectively, from what the newscast averaged during the week prior. The CBS Evening News saw a -7% decline in total viewers and a -21% decline in A25-54 viewers from the year-ago week.

All in all, a subpar 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. 4, 2023:

• Total Viewers: 7,809,000 6,709,000 4,782,000
• A25-54: 1,049,000 1,022,000 644,000

Source: The Nielsen Company, NTI Total Viewers, Adults 25-54 Live + SD Current Week (w/o 12/4/23), Previous Week (w/o 11/27/23) and Year-Ago Week (w/o 12/5/22). 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.