Week of Jan. 17 Evening News Ratings: World News Tonight Remains No. 1 as All 3 Newscasts Lose Viewers

By A.J. Katz 

ABC World News Tonight with David Muir finished the week of Jan. 17, 2022 as the No. 1 evening newscast, both in total viewers (8.96 million) and among adults 25-54 (1.74 million).

The newscast’s 8.96 million average makes it the second-most-watched TV show of the week, excluding sports, specials and syndication.

Additionally, ABC’s evening newscast has now defeated its competition from NBC and CBS 164 of the past 165 weeks in average total viewers—and 93 of the last 95 weeks among adults 25-54; a wild statistic.


World News Tonight shed -1% in total viewers and grew less than +1% in adults 25-54 from the prior week (Jan. 10). Compared with the same week in 2021 (Jan. 18), the trend was worse, with World News Tonight losing -12% in average total audience and -15% among adults 25-54. It is worth noting that the year-ago week featured the inauguration of President Joe Biden on Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021.

It’s worth noting that ABC World News Tonight decided to retitle Monday’s telecast due to MLK Jr. Day. As a result, the newscast’s weekly Nielsen ratings averages are based on just four days. NBC Nightly News and CBS Evening News, however, counted their Monday telecast Nielsen ratings and their respective weekly ratings averages are based on all five days of the week.

Speaking of NBC Nightly News, the Lester Holt-anchored newscast averaged 7.82 million total viewers (No. 5 on all of TV, excluding sports, specials and syndie) and 1.44 million adults 25-54 during the week of Jan. 17. Nightly shed -3% in total viewers and -1% among adults 25-54 from the prior week. Compared to the same week in 2021, the newscast was -5% in total viewers and -15% in adults 25-54. Despite this decline in viewership, Nightly News is closing the gap with World News Tonight (meaning, it’s losing a smaller percentage of its audience than World News Tonight is).

Additionally, on YouTube, full weekday episodes of NBC Nightly News averaged 665,000 views and 532,000 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 5.70 million total viewers and 972,000 adults 25-54 for the week of Jan. 17. The newscast shed -1% in total viewers and -6% in adults 25-54 viewers from the prior week. Versus the same week in 2021, Evening News was -8% in average total viewers and -15% among adults 25-54.

Nielsen live-plus-same-day averages for the week of Jan. 17, 2022:

• Total Viewers: 8,958,000 7,824,000 5,702,000
• A25-54: 1,739,000 1,444,000 972,000




Source: The Nielsen Company, NTI Total Viewers, Adults 25-54. Live + SD Current Week (w/o 1/17/22), Previous Week (w/o 1/10/22) and Year-Ago Week (w/o 1/18/21). Most Current: 2021-2022 Season (9/20/21 – 1/23/22) and 2020-2021 Season (9/21/20 – 1/24/21). 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.