Week of June 14 Evening News Ratings: World News Tonight Marks Back-to-Back Weeks as Most-Watched Show on U.S. TV

By A.J. Katz 

ABC, NBC and CBS News dispatched their respective evening news anchors to Geneva, Switzerland to cover President Joe Biden‘s summit with Russian president Vladimir Putin last week.

ABC World News Tonight with David Muir finished the week of June 14 with a 7.75 million total viewer average, to go with a 1.4 million adults 25-54 average. That’s a larger average audience than its NBC and CBS evening news counterparts both in total viewers and in the key A25-54 demo for the 64th consecutive week.

World News Tonight was also the most-watched program on U.S. TV for the second consecutive week.


World News Tonight’s weekly averages are based on four days (Monday-Thursday).

Compared with the previous week (week of June 7)  World News Tonight gained +2% in total viewers but shed -2% in the key A25-54 demo. Compared to the same week in 2020 (June 15), ABC’s evening newscast lost -11% of its average total audience, and -14% of its A25-54 demo audience.

Despite the year-over-year, World News Tonight holds its largest season lead over both NBC and CBS in 26 years—since the 1994-1995 season, when Peter Jennings was still anchor.

Speaking of NBC, Nightly News with Lester Holt averaged nearly 6.3 million total viewers and 1.1 million adults 25-54 on linear this past week, making it the third-most-watched show on TV (excluding sports and syndication), and seventh among adults 25-54.

NBC Nightly News’ weekly averages are based on only three days (Monday-Wednesday).

Compared to the prior week, NBC’s evening newscast gained +3% in total viewers, but lost -2% in adults 25-54. Relative to the same week in 2020, Nightly fell -16% in total viewers, and lost -30% of its A25-54 audience.

NBC’s flagship newscast streams on YouTube and is able to garner some additional eyeballs that way (eyeballs which aren’t measured by Nielsen). On YouTube, Nightly’s full episodes on YouTube earned an average of 769,000 views with the average viewer watching for nearly 12 minutes. That’s according to data from Adobe Analytics and Partner Portals, and the YouTube Analytics Portal.

CBS Evening News with Norah O’Donnell averaged nearly 4.8 million total viewers, and 776,000 adults 25-54 for the week. That’s a decline of -1% in total viewers, and -12% in adults 25-54 from the prior week. CBS Evening News lost -8% in total viewers and -16% in A25-54 viewers from the comparable week in 2020.

That said, it was the network’s most-watched show each day last week (Monday-Friday), and No. 1 in the key demo on Friday.

Below, the Nielsen live-plus-same-day averages for the week of June 14, 2021:

• Total Viewers: 7,753,000 6,260,000 4,774,000
• A25-54: 1,398,000 1,062,000 776,000




Source: The Nielsen Company, NTI Total Viewers, Adults 25-54. Live + SD Current Week (w/o 6/14/21), Previous Week (w/o 6/7/21) and Year-Ago Week (w/o 6/15/20). Most Current: 2020 -2021 Season (9/21/20-6/20/21) and 2019-2020 Season (9/23/13-6/21/20). 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.