Week of May 1 Evening News Ratings: ABC Keeps No. 1 Ranking as All 3 Major Newscasts Shed Viewers

By A.J. Katz 

During the week of May 1, 2023, ABC, NBC and CBS’ evening news offerings all shed viewers from the previous week.

Nevertheless, ABC World News Tonight with David Muir remains No. 1 in the genre, averaging 7.61 million total viewers and 1.12 million A25-54 viewers for the week, per live-plus-same-day data from Nielsen.

WNT marked its sixth consecutive week as the most-watched regularly-scheduled U.S. show across broadcast and cable (excluding sports), and has now defeated its evening news competition from NBC and CBS 231 of the past 232 weeks in average total viewers—and 160 of the last 162 weeks among Adults 25-54.


World News Tonight shed -3% in total viewers and lost -8% in A25-54 viewers compared to the week before (week of April 24). Similar to its competition, ABC’s evening newscast remains down year-over-year in the linear ratings department. The newscast dropped -3% in total viewers and -17% among A25-54 viewers vs. the same week one year ago (May 2, 2022), as Americans under 55 increasingly leave linear TV news.

Despite the drop off in total viewership, that 7.61 million average represents the widest margin of victory over NBC in nearly four months (week of Jan. 9); meaning its losses were less severe than those of its main competition.

On Monday May 1, World News Tonight was retitled to “WNT-ABC” due to the live airing of American Idol. The telecast is excluded from the weekly and season averages. ABC’s weekly averages are based on four days (Tuesday-Friday). The newscast’s ratings for the week earlier (beginning April 24) are based on just three days of broadcasts — the Thursday, April 27 and Friday, April 28 broadcasts were retitled due to live coverage of the 2023 NFL Draft. As a result, a week to week drop off in ratings isn’t surprising.

Over on NBC, Nightly News with Lester Holt averaged 6.08 million total viewers (No. 9 among all regularly-scheduled broadcast and cable TV programming) to go with 869,000 A25-54 viewers during the week of May 1. That’s -6% in total viewers and -11% in Adults 25-54 from the previous week. Compared to the same week in 2022, Nightly News shed -6% in total viewers and -19% among Adults 25-54.

According to Adobe Analytics and Partner Portals; YouTube Analytics Portal, full weekday episodes of NBC Nightly News on YouTube reached an average of 1.2 million views and 900,000 total viewers last week.

The CBS Evening News with Norah O’Donnell averaged 4.64 million total viewers with just 693,000 Adults 25-54 for the week of May 1. That’s -3% in total viewers and -5% in A25-54 viewers from the previous week. The week of April 24 had been an especially highly-rated one for the newscast. CBS Evening News interestingly gained +0.4% in total viewers but lost -9% in A25-54 viewers from the year-ago week.

Nielsen live-plus-same-day viewer averages for the week of May 1, 2023:

• Total Viewers: 7,610,000 6,079,000 4,641,000
• A25-54: 1,122,000 869,000 693,000


Source: The Nielsen Company, NTI Total Viewers, Adults 25-54 Live + SD Current Week (w/o 5/1/23), Previous Week (w/o 4/24/23) and Year-Ago Week (w/o 5/2/22). Most Current Data Stream: Season 2022-2023 (9/19/22-5/7/23) and Season 2021-2022 (9/20/21-5/8/2023). 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.