Week of June 7 Evening News Ratings: World News Tonight Is the Most-Watched Show on U.S. TV

By A.J. Katz 

ABC World News Tonight with David Muir finished the week of June 7 with a 7.6 million total viewer average, to go with a 1.4 million adults 25-54 average. That’s a larger audience than its NBC and CBS evening news counterparts both in total viewers and in the key A25-54 demo for the 63rd consecutive week.

World News Tonight was also the most-watched program on U.S. TV last week. In fact, the ABC evening newscast aired the top 5 telecasts of the week: Monday (7.93 million – No. 1), Tuesday (7.92 million – No. 2), Wednesday (7.48 – No. 3), Thursday (7.39 million – No. 4) and Friday (7.22 million – No. 5).

Compared with the previous week (which started on Memorial Day – May 31)  World News Tonight grew by +4% in total viewers and an impressive +9% in the key A25-54 demo. Compared to the same week in 2020 (June 8), however, World News Tonight lost -14% of its average total audience, and -15% 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 6.1 million total viewers and 1.1 million adults 25-54 on linear this past week, making it the third-most-watched show on TV last week (excluding sports and syndication), and seventh among adults 25-54.

Compared to the prior week, NBC’s evening newscast shed -4% in total viewers, and -3% in adults 25-54. Relative to the same week in 2020, Nightly was stumbled -21% in total viewers, lost nearly 1/3 of its A25-54 audience (-32%).

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 905,000 views. That’s according to data from Adobe Analytics and Partner Portals, and the YouTube Analytics Portal.

CBS Evening News with Norah O’Donnell averaged more than 4.8 million total viewers, and 885,000 adults 25-54 for the week. That’s a decline of -1% in total viewers, but a gain of +2% in adults 25-54 from the prior week. However, the newscast was down -11% in total viewers and -11% in adults 25-54 versus the year-ago week.

Unlike ABC and NBC, CBS Evening News decided not to rate its Friday broadcast. The network made a habit of not rating its summer Friday broadcasts in 2020, and it appears it may be doing the same thing here in 2021.

Below, the Nielsen live-plus-same-day averages for the week of June 7, 2021:

• Total Viewers: 7,587,000 6,095,000 4,819,000
• A25-54: 1,429,000 1,089,000 885,000




Source: The Nielsen Company, NTI Total Viewers, Adults 25-54 Live + SD Current Week (w/o 6/7/21), Previous Week (w/o 5/31/21) and Year-Ago Week (w/o 6/8/20). Most Current: 2020 -2021 Season (9/21/20-6/13/21) and 2019-2020 Season (9/23/13-6/14/20). 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.