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The two most-watched shows on U.S. television last week (excluding syndication) were network nightly newscasts.
ABC World News Tonight with David Muir finished the week of July 6 not only as the No. 1 evening newscast among both Total Viewers and Adults 25-54 for the 15th consecutive week, but also as the most-watched show on U.S. television for the sixth consecutive week, and the No. 1 show on U.S. TV among Adults 25-54, with the latter being an incredibly rare accomplishment.
World News Tonight averaged 8.97 million Total Viewers and 1.724 million A25-54 viewers for the week. Overall, it is having its most-watched season in 17 years and strongest key Adults 25-54 performances in five years—since the 2003-04 and the 2015-16 seasons, respectively.
In addition to averaging a larger total audience, the ABC evening newscast is also No. 1 for the season in Adults 25-54, leading NBC by its largest news demo margin (+82,000 – 1.92 million vs. 1.84 million) in 24 years.
NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt finished in second place behind WNT in the key measurements. However, being the second-most-watched show on all of U.S. television (excluding syndication)—both in Total Viewers and Adults 25-54—is certainly nothing to be disappointed about.
NBC Nightly News did fall relative to the prior week, -2% in Total Viewers and -6% in the key A25-54 demo. However, the newscast finished +10% in Total Viewers and +3% in A25-54 demo viewers versus the year-ago week.
For the week of July 6, first-run broadcasts of The CBS Evening News with Norah O’Donnell averaged 5.42 million Total Viewers and 995,000 A25-54 viewers. Including the 4 a.m. reruns, that number grows to 5.95 million total viewers and 1.17 adults 25-54.
It was the network’s No. 1 show last week, flat in Total Viewers and +1% in the A25-54 demo from the previous week. Relative to the year-ago week (July 8, 2019), Evening News was +3% in Total Viewers but -3% in A25-54 demo viewers.
Evening News’ numbers for the week are based on a four-day average. The network has made a habit of retitling its Friday broadcasts this summer.
ABC World News Tonight was less than -1% in Total Viewers, but +4% in the A25-54 demo versus the previous week. The ratings were especially good when compared with the year-ago week: +12% in Total Viewers and +19% in the 25-54 demo.
*Nielsen ratings for ABC, NBC and CBS include additional airings at various times during the day, and in a variety of markets, large and small.
Nielsen live-plus-same-day averages for the week of June 29:
|• Total Viewers:||8,965,000||7,595,000||5,421,000|
Source: The Nielsen Company, NTI Total Viewers, Adults 25-54 and Adults 18-49 Live + SD Current Week (w/o 7/6/20), Previous Week (w/o 6/29/20) and Year-Ago Week (w/o 7/15/19). Most Current: 2019-2020 Season (9/23/19-7/12/20) and 2018-2019 Season (9/24/18-7/14/19). Nielsen ratings for ABC, NBC and CBS include additional airings in select markets. Averages based on regular telecasts. Broadcast and Cable ranker for w/o 7/6/20 based on Total Day.