Week of Jan. 23 Evening News Ratings: On-Site Coverage of Breaking News Influences Evening Ratings Increase

By A.J. Katz 

Breaking news stories including on-site coverage of the Monterey Park, Calif., shooting boosted week of January 23 Nielsen ratings for the evening newscasts.

As expected, ABC World News Tonight with David Muir is the top-rated evening newscast for the week, meaning ABC’s evening news offering has now defeated its competition from NBC and CBS 217 of the past 218 weeks in average total viewers—and 145 of the last 147 weeks among adults 25-54.

World News Tonight averaged 9 million total linear viewers during the week of Jan. 23, a +3% gain from the previous week (the week of Jan. 16) and the second-largest audience on all of U.S. television, excluding sports programming, of course. The newscast also averaged 1.5 million viewers from the key A25-54 demo this past week, which is +4% from the prior week. Compared to the year-ago week (Jan. 24, 2022), ABC’s evening newscast is up less than +1% in total viewers but -8% in A25-54 demo, as Americans under 55 continue to leave linear TV news (and linear TV in general) at a much faster rate than their elders.


NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt averaged 7.76 million total viewers on linear during the week of Jan. 23, making it the fourth-most-watched U.S. show of the week—excluding sports, specials and syndication. That 7.76 million viewer average also happens to be the show’s largest average audience in five weeks, and a +4% increase from the previous week. The newscast—which Holt anchored from Monterey Park, Calif. on Monday, Jan. 23—also averaged 1.30 million adults 25-54 last week, which is +1% from the week prior. However, NBC Nightly News is -2% in total viewers and also -8% in A25-54 viewers from what the newscast averaged for the year-ago week.

Additionally, according to data from Adobe Analytics and Partner Portals—and the YouTube Analytics Portal, full weekday episodes of Nightly News earned an average of 771,000 views and 605,000 total viewers streaming via YouTube.

NBC and CBS retitled their respective Friday evening newscasts — Nightly News due to a special report on the video release showing Memphis police’s deadly beating of Tyre Nichols, and Evening News due to CBS Sports’ Friday evening coverage of the PGA Farmers Insurance Open.

Speaking of CBS, Evening News with Norah O’Donnell averaged 5.7 million total viewers this past week, +4% from the previous week and +2% vs. the year-ago week. The newscast also averaged 919,000 adults 25-54 this past week, which is also +4% from the previous week but -5% from the year-ago week. Like Holt, O’Donnell anchored her newscast from Monterey Park, which included an interview with Calif., Gov. Gavin Newsom.

Nielsen live-plus-same-day averages for the week of Jan. 23, 2023:

• Total Viewers: 9,004,000 7,761,000 5,697,000
• A25-54: 1,494,000 1,303,000 919,000




Source: The Nielsen Company, NTI Total Viewers, Adults 25-54, Live + SD Current Week (w/o 1/23/23), Previous Week (w/o 1/16/23) and Year-Ago Week (w/o 1/24/22). Most Current Data Stream: Season 2022-2023 (9/19/22 – 1/29/23), Season 2021-2022 (9/20/21 – 1/30/22). 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.