Week of Nov. 1 Evening News Ratings: World News Tonight Continues Winning Streak, But Sees Week-to-Week Audience Losses

By A.J. Katz 

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Live-plus-same-day Nielsen data for the week of Nov. 1, 2021 is in, and ABC World News Tonight with David Muir finished as the No. 1 newscast for the week, not just in average total viewers (8.01 million) but also among adults 25-54 (1.4 million) for the seventh week of the 2021-’22 TV season.

For the second consecutive week, World News Tonight’s 8.01 million total viewers average made it the most-watched show on all of TV, excluding sports and syndication, of course.

By winning the week of Nov. 1, ABC’s evening newscast has defeated both NBC and CBS competition each of the last 154 weeks in average total viewers, and 82 of the last 84 weeks among adults 25-54. However, World News Tonight shed -1% in average total viewers, and -4% among adults 25-54 from the previous week (Oct. 25). Compared with the same week in 2020, World News Tonight shed -15% in average total audience and -34% among adults 25-54.

The week of Nov. 2, 2020 was the week of the 2020 presidential election, so the significant year-over-year viewership decline makes sense, particularly when it comes to younger demos. They are more likely to watch the evening news during (or right before/after) a major news event, as opposed to during a quieter news environment.

Second-place NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt averaged 6.90 million total viewers, 1.27 million adults 25-54 per original broadcast. Nightly News’ 1.27 million adults 25-54 average is the newscast’s largest in six weeks.

Relative to the prior week, NBC Nightly News shed -1% in average total viewers, but gained +4% in the key A25-54 demo. Nightly News ran its annual week-long Across America series, a feature which seemed to attract younger, more casual news viewers than might typically tune into the newscast. Compared with the same week in 2020 (which was quite news-heavy), Nightly News is -15% in average total viewers and -35% among adults 25-54. Additionally, on YouTube, full weekday episodes of Nightly News averaged 621,000 views and 506,000 viewers this past week.

CBS Evening News with Norah O’Donnell averaged 5.04 million total viewers, which is -4% from previous week, and 913,000 adults 25-54, which is actually +6% from the prior week and the newscast’s largest audience from the measurement in 9 weeks. Similar to ABC and NBC, CBS saw significant year-over-year losses in average total viewers (-12%), and year-over-year decline among adults 25-54 (-19%), although its decline continued to be less severe than anything ABC or NBC experienced.

Nielsen live-plus-same-day averages for the week of Nov. 1, 2021:

• Total Viewers: 8,012,000 6,900,000 5,041,000
• A25-54: 1,399,000 1,226,000 913,000


Source: The Nielsen Company, NTI Total Viewers, Adults 25-54. Live + SD Current Week (w/o 11/1/21), Previous Week (w/o 10/25/21) and Year-Ago Week (w/o 11/2/20). Most Current: 2021 -2022 Season (9/20 – 11/7/21) and 2020 -2021 Season (9/21 – 11/8/20). Beginning 8/31/20, national ratings also include Out of Home (OOH) viewing. Averages based on regular telecasts.