Week of Jan. 2 Evening News Ratings: Led by Top-Ranked World News Tonight, Evening Newscasts See Gains After Quiet Holiday Week

By A.J. Katz 

David Muir, Lester Holt and Norah O’Donnell returned to their respective anchor seats last week after a holiday break, and their audiences returned with them.

Muir’s ABC World News Tonight kicked off 2023 like it ended 2022 — by finishing No. 1 in average total viewers and No. 1 in the Adults 25-54 demo. This now means ABC’s evening newscast has defeated its competition from NBC and CBS 214 of the past 215 weeks in average total viewers—and 142 of the last 144 weeks among adults 25-54.

WNT averaged more than 9.26 million total linear viewers during the week of Jan. 2, 2023, a +10% gain from the previous week (the week of Dec. 26) and No. 2 on all of U.S. television, excluding sports programming. The newscast also averaged 1.55 million viewers from the key A25-54 demo this past week, which is +14% from the prior week. Compared to the same week one year ago, however, ABC’s evening newscast is -1% in total viewers and -14% in A25-54 demo, as Americans under 55 continue to leave linear TV news at a much faster rate than their elders.


Additionally, on Tuesday, Jan. 3, Day 1 of the House Speaker vote, World News Tonight delivered its most-watched telecast (9.98 million) in nearly 2 years ― 2/22/21.

NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt remained the second-ranked evening newscast and the third-most-watched regularly-scheduled TV program, averaging 7.74 million total viewers along with 1.35 million A25-54 during the week of Jan. 2, 2023. That’s +7% and +12%, respectively, from what the newscast drew in those measurements the week prior. However, Nightly News is -6% in total viewers and -13% in A25-54 viewers from what it averaged during the year-ago week.

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 744,000 views and 587,000 total viewers streaming via YouTube.

CBS Evening News with Norah O’Donnell averaged more than 5.65 million total viewers this past week, which is the show’s largest audience in nearly one year (since Jan. 31, 2022), +10% from the previous week but -1% with the year-ago week. The newscast also averaged 943,000 adults 25-54 this past week, which is +22% from the previous week but -7% from the year-ago week.

Nielsen live-plus-same-day averages for the week of Jan. 2, 2023:

• Total Viewers: 9,264,000 7,743,000 5,654,000
• A25-54: 1,552,000 1,350,000 943,000




Source: The Nielsen Company, NTI Total Viewers, Adults 25-54, Live + SD Current Week (w/o 1/2/23), Previous Week (w/o 12/26/22) and Year-Ago Week (w/o 1/3/22). Most Current Data Stream: Season 2022-2023 (9/19/22 – 1/8/23), Season 2021-2022 (9/20/21 – 1/9/22). 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.