Week of Nov. 16 Evening News Ratings: World News Tonight Marks 34 Straight Weeks at No. 1, But Sees Decline From Prior Week

By A.J. Katz 

Anchored by David Muir, ABC World News  Tonight maintained its top spot in the evening news landscape, both in total viewers (9.7 million) and among adults 25-54 (1.8 million) for the 34th consecutive week. It has ranked No. 1 exclusively in total viewers for 104 consecutive weeks.

ABC’s evening newscast lost some of its audience from post-election week (the week of Nov. 9). The newscast was -2% in total viewers, and -7% among adults 25-54. The adults 25-54 decline isn’t a huge surprise, as the more casual news viewers traditionally become less interested in the news as we move away from the election.

Relative to the comparable week last year (Nov. 18, 2019), World News Tonight ratings remain strong: +10 -% in total viewers, and +5% among adults 25-54,


Season to date, World News Tonight ranks No. 1 both in total viewers and adults 25-54 at this point of the season for the second consecutive year, based on the most current data from Nielsen.

NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt averaged 8.3 million total viewers, and 1.7 million adults 25-54 during the week of Nov. 16.

The 8.3 million places Nightly as the 5th-most-watched show in all of TV last week (excluding sports & syndication).

Compared to the prior week, NBC News’ flagship program was flat in in total viewers but -2% among adults 25-54.Versus the year-ago week (Nov. 18 2019), Nightly was +5% in total viewers and +1% among adults 25-54.

First-run broadcasts of the CBS Evening News with Norah O’Donnell averaged just under 6 million total viewers,  and 1.1 million adults 25-54 viewers. That’s virtually changed from the previous week. What does the year-over-year trend look like? Evening News was +6% in total viewers and +1% among adults 25-54.

It’s worth noting that Evening News retitled its Friday telecast, and its week of Nov. 16 ratings averages are based on only 4 days. ABC and NBC reported ratings for all 5 days, as usual.

Altogether, the big three averaged a combined total of 23.9 million viewers last week. That’s -1% vs. the week prior (the post-election week), but +7% vs. the year-ago week.

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. They reflect the addition of out of home (OOH) viewership that began being measured on Aug. 31 across 44 markets tracked by Nielsen.

Nielsen live-plus-same-day averages for the week of Nov. 16:

• Total Viewers: 9,661,000 8,276,000 5,960,000
• A25-54: 1,801,000 1,679,000 1,109,000




Source: The Nielsen Company, NTI Total Viewers, Adults 25-54 and Adults 18-49 Live + SD Current Week (w/o 11/16/20), Previous Week (w/o 11/9/20) and Year-Ago Week (w/o 11/18/19).  Most Current: 2020 -2021 Season (9/21 – 11/22/19) and 2019 -2020 Season (9/23 – 11/24/19).  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.