Week of Nov. 8 Evening News Ratings: World News Tonight Remains No. 1 as All 3 Major Newscasts Post Week-to-Week Total Audience Gains

By A.J. Katz 

Live-plus-same-day Nielsen data for the week of Nov. 8, 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 (8.28 million) but also among adults 25-54 (1.5 million) for the eighth week of the 2021-’22 TV season. That represents the newscast’s largest audience since August.

On Monday, Nov. 8 World News Tonight scored its most-watched telecast (8.78 million) in over two months.

By winning the week of Nov. 8, ABC’s evening newscast has defeated both NBC and CBS competition each of the last 155 weeks in average total viewers, and 83 of the last 85 weeks among adults 25-54. World News Tonight also posted the largest week-to-week audience gains in the key measurements. The broadcast grew +3% in average total viewers, and +7% among adults 25-54 from the previous week (Nov. 1). Compared with the same week in 2020, World News Tonight shed -16% in average total audience and -23% among adults 25-54. The week of Nov. 9, 2020 was the week after 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 1.26 million adults 25-54 and 7.07 million total viewers per broadcast. That’s the newscast’s largest average audience in each measurement since August. Relative to the prior week, NBC’s evening newscast gained +2% in average total viewers, and +3% in the key A25-54 demo.  Compared with the same week in 2020 (which as we know was quite news-heavy), Nightly News is -15% in average total viewers but -27% among adults 25-54. Additionally, on YouTube, full weekday episodes of Nightly News averaged 604,000 views and 500,000 viewers this past week.

CBS Evening News with Norah O’Donnell averaged 5.15 million total viewers, which is +2% from previous week, and 876,000 adults 25-54, which is -4% from the prior week. Similar to ABC and NBC, CBS saw significant year-over-year losses in average total viewers (-14%), and among adults 25-54 (-21%), although Evening News’ year-over-year decline continues to be less severe than anything ABC or NBC have experienced (perhaps some consolation for the third-place broadcast).

Nielsen live-plus-same-day averages for the week of Nov. 8, 2021:

• Total Viewers: 8,282,000 7,070,000 5,154,000
• A25-54: 1,501,000 1,260,000 876,000




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). 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.