Week of May 23 Evening News Ratings: ABC World News Tonight Holds Firm in First Place

By A.J. Katz 

According to live-plus-same-day data from Nielsen, ABC World News Tonight with David Muir averaged 7.69 million total viewers and 1.46 million adults 25-54 for the week of May 23, making it once again the most-watched show (in total viewers) on U.S. TV, excluding syndicated programming. ABC’s evening newscast has now defeated its competition from NBC and CBS 182 of the past 183 weeks in average total viewers—and 111 of the last 113 weeks among adults 25-54.

Driven in part by coverage of the Uvalde, Texas school shooting, the broadcast gained +4% in total viewers and +11% in the adults 25-54 demo from the previous week (May 16). However, WNT shed less than -1%, both in total viewers and among adults 25-54 from the same week in 2021 (w/o May 24).

World News Tonight’s Nielsen ratings for this past week are based on a three-day average (Tuesday-Thursday) due to the NBA Playoffs and the Memorial Day holiday weekend on Friday.


NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt averaged 6.4 million total viewers on NBC this past week, making it the the 5th-most-watched program on all of TV (excluding sports/specials and syndie). The 6.4 million total viewer average is +5% from the previous week and down less than -1% from the comparable week in 2021. NBC Nightly News also averaged 1.06 million adults 25-54 this past week, which is +8% from the previous week yet -10% from what the broadcast pulled in during the year-ago week.

NBC Nightly News its 188 consecutive month of beating its CBS competition in total viewers and the key A25-54 demo.

Nightly News’ Nielsen ratings for this past week are based on a three-day average (Monday, Wednesday, & Thursday) due to special breaking news coverage and the Memorial Day holiday weekend on Friday.

Additionally, on YouTube, full episodes of NBC Nightly News reached an average of 646,000 video views and 515,000 viewers last week. That’s according to Adobe Analytics and Partner Portals; YouTube Analytics Portal.

The CBS Evening News (guest-anchored by John Dickerson) averaged 4.66 million total viewers and 821,000 adults 25-54 for the week of May 23. That’s +4% when it comes to total viewers—and +9% in adults 25-54 from the previous week. Relative to the year-ago week, however, Evening News is -2% in total viewers and -4% among adults 25-54.

CBS is based on a four-day average (Monday-Thursday), with the network excluding Evening News’ Friday ratings in light of Memorial Day weekend.

Nielsen live-plus-same-day averages for the week of May 23, 2022:

• Total Viewers: 7,693,000 6,397,000 4,664,000
• A25-54: 1,461,000 1,056,000 821,000




Source: The Nielsen Company, NTI Total Viewers, Adults 25-54. Live + SD Current Week (w/o 5/23/22), Previous Week (w/o 5/16/22) and Year-Ago Week (w/o 5/24/21). Most Current: 2021-2022 Season (9/20/21 – 5/29/22) and 2020-2021 Season (9/21/20 – 5/30/21).  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.