Week of Nov. 15 Evening News Ratings: World News Tonight Maintains Lengthy Winning Streak; Nightly News Averages Largest Audience Since March

By A.J. Katz 

Live-plus-same-day Nielsen data for the week of Nov. 15, 2021 is in, and for the second consecutive week, all three major evening newscasts posted week-to-week in average total audience.

As usual, ABC World News Tonight with David Muir finished as the No. 1 newscast for the week, not just in average total viewers (8.28 million) but also among adults 25-54 (1.46 million) for the ninth week of the 2021-’22 TV season.

By winning the week of Nov. 15, ABC’s evening newscast has defeated both NBC and CBS competition each of the last 156 weeks in average total viewers, and 84 of the last 86 weeks among adults 25-54.


It was also the most-watched show on all of TV last week (excluding sports and syndication) for the third time in four weeks.

World News Tonight grew by less than +1% in average total viewers, but shed -3% of its adults 25-54 audience from the previous week (Nov. 8). Compared with the same week in 2020, World News Tonight was down by -14% in average total audience and -19% among adults 25-54. We were still coming off the 2020 presidential election at this point last year, 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.

Additionally, on Monday Nov. 15, World News Tonight was preempted in Los Angeles and San Francisco markets due to Monday Night Football.

Second-place NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt averaged 1.235 million adults 25-54 and 7.21 million total viewers per broadcast. The 7.21 million average represents the show’s largest average total audience since the week of March 8. Relative to the prior week, NBC’s evening newscast grew by +2% in average total viewers, however the broadcast lost -2% in the key A25-54 demo.  Compared with the same week in 2020 (which as we know was quite news-heavy), Nightly News fell by -13% in average total viewers was down by -26% among adults 25-54.

NBC News is pointing out that Nightly News has closed the gap with World News Tonight in recent months, but the margin between the two newscasts remains substantial.

Additionally, on YouTube, full weekday episodes of Nightly News averaged 581,000 views and nearly 500,000 viewers this past week. That’s according to Adobe Analytics.

Yes, CBS is in third place, but Evening News with Norah O’Donnell was the only evening newscast to post week-to-week in both key measurements. The broadcast averaged 5.36 million total viewers, which is +4% from previous week, and 888,000 adults 25-54, which is +1% from the prior week. Similar to ABC and NBC, CBS saw significant year-over-year losses in average total viewers (-10%), and among adults 25-54 (-20%).

Nielsen live-plus-same-day averages for the week of Nov. 15, 2021:

• Total Viewers: 8,284,000 7,206,000 5,361,000
• A25-54: 1,457,000 1,235,000 888,000




Source: The Nielsen Company, NTI Total Viewers, Adults 25-54 Live + SD Current Week (w/o 11/15/21), Previous Week (w/o 11/8/21) and Year-Ago Week (w/o 11/16/20). Most Current: 2021-2022 Season (9/20 – 11/21/21) and 2020-2021 Season (9/21 – 11/22/20). Nielsen ratings for ABC, NBC and CBS include additional airings in select markets. As of 8/31/20, national ratings also include Out of Home (OOH) viewing. Averages based on regular telecasts.