Week of May 16 Evening News Ratings: No. 1-Ranked World News Tonight Loses Total Viewers, Gains Adults 25-54

By A.J. Katz 

According to live-plus-same-day data from Nielsen, ABC World News Tonight with David Muir averaged 7.37 million total viewers and 1.32 million adults 25-54 for the week of May 16. These numbers mean that ABC’s evening newscast has now defeated its competition from NBC and CBS 181 of the past 182 weeks in average total viewers—and 110 of the last 112 weeks among adults 25-54.

The broadcast shed -2% in total viewers—but gained +6% in the adults 25-54 demo from the previous week (May 9). Additionally, WNT shed -2% in total viewers and -5% in A25-54 viewers from the same week in 2021 (w/o May 17).

Despite this decline, for the sixth consecutive week, World News Tonight was the most-watched show (in total viewers) on U.S. TV, excluding syndicated programming.


NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt averaged 6.075 million total viewers on NBC this past week, making it the 9th-most-watched program on all of TV (excluding sports/specials and syndie). The 6.075 million total viewer average is -2% from the previous week and -2% from the comparable week in 2021. NBC Nightly News also averaged 980,000 adults 25-54 this past week, which is -3% from the previous week and  -14% from what the broadcast pulled in during the year-ago week.

Additionally, on YouTube, full episodes of NBC Nightly News reached an average of 668,000 video views and 530,000 video viewers last week. That’s according to Adobe Analytics and Partner Portals; YouTube Analytics Portal.

The CBS Evening News with Norah O’Donnell averaged 4.49 million total viewers and 756,000 adults 25-54 for the week of May 16. That’s steady when it comes to total viewers—and +4% in adults 25-54 from the previous week. Relative to the year-ago week, however, Evening News is -4% in total viewers and -6% among adults 25-54.

On Monday, Holt, Muir and O’Donnell anchored from Buffalo on the deadly mass shooting.

Nielsen live-plus-same-day averages for the week of May 16, 2022:

• Total Viewers: 7,372,000 6,075,000 4,489,000
• A25-54: 1,322,000 980,000 756,000




Source: The Nielsen Company, NTI Total Viewers, Adults 25-54 Live + SD Current Week (w/o 5/16/22), Previous Week (w/o 5/9/22) and Year-Ago Week (w/o 5/10/21). Most Current: 2021-2022 Season (9/20/21 – 5/15/22) and 2020-2021 Season (9/21/20 – 5/23/21).  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.