ABC World News Tonight with David Muir was the most-watched program on U.S. television last week, according to the most current data from Nielsen.
World News Tonight’s total viewer average of just under 10 million made it the most-watched program on U.S. television for the fourth consecutive week.
In addition to averaging more total viewers than its NBC and CBS evening competition for the 78th consecutive week, World News Tonight also finished ahead of its broadcast competition in the key Adults 25-54 demo for the eighth consecutive week (1.97 million).
Overall, World News Tonight is having its most-watched season in 16 years and strongest key Adults 25-54 performances in four years—since the 2003-04 and the 2015-16 seasons, respectively.
Compared to the same week in 2019, World News Tonight was +24% in Total Viewers and +27% in the key A25-54 demo.
However, World News Tonight continues to shed viewers from the prior week. According to the most current Nielsen data for the week of May 11, ABC’s evening newscast was -2% in Total Viewers and -3% in A25-54 viewers versus the week of May 4.
NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt finished in second place behind WNT in the key measurements for the sixth consecutive week. The broadcast averaged nearly 8.8 million viewers in total to go with 1.82 million adults 25-54. Despite its second-place finish, Nightly News was the third-most-watched program on U.S. TV last week (excluding syndicated programming).
Compared to the same week in 2019, Nightly News was +23% in Total Viewers and +18% in the key demo. Compared to the prior week in 2020, Nightly shed viewers, -2% in Total Viewers and -1% in the key A25-54 demo.
According to the most current Nielsen data, the CBS Evening News with Norah O’Donnell averaged 6.16 million total viewers and 1.1 million A25-54 viewers last week. However, including the new 4 a.m. re-air, CBS says its evening newscast brought in a gross audience of 6.75 million total viewers and 1.26 million A25-54 viewers. As of now, Nielsen does not take that 4 a.m. re-air into account in its reporting.
CBS Evening News’ ratings are comprised of telecasts with regular titling and include overnight airings on owned stations.
Compared to the same week in 2019, the broadcast was +15% in Total Viewers and +4% in the demo. However, compared to the prior week in 2020, Evening News was -4% in Total Viewers and -8% in the A25-54 demo.
Viewership for the evening newscasts is still strong for the evening newscasts compared to this point last year. However, the week-to-week trend is poor.
The weather is getting warmer, and states are loosening their stay-at-home guidelines. These could factor into viewership slowly but surely returning to pre-Covid-19 levels.
*NOTE: 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 numbers for the week of May 11:
|• Total Viewers:||9,990,000||8,786,000||6,158,000|
Source: The Nielsen Company, NTI Total Viewers, Adults 25-54 Live + SD Current Week (w/o 5/11/20), Previous Week (w/o 5/4/20) and Year-Ago Week (w/o 5/13/19). Most Current: 2019-2020 Season (9/23/19-5/17/20) and 2018-2019 Season (9/24/18-5/19/19). 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 5/11/20 based on Total Day.