Week of Oct. 23 Evening News Ratings: World News Tonight Hangs On to First Place, Draws Largest Audience in 8 Weeks

By A.J. Katz 

ABC News, NBC News and CBS News’ evening newscasts saw week-to-week audience gains this past week, with World News Tonight with David Muir continuing to lead the charge.

Per live plus same day data from Nielsen, ABC World News Tonight averaged more than 7.73 million total viewers (the show’s largest average audience in eight weeks) along with 1.08 million A25-54 viewers for the Tuesday through Friday portion of the week of Oct. 23. That’s +3% in total viewers but -1% in A25-54 viewers from the previous week (which was also rated on just four days). When compared with the same week in 2022 (when WNT rated on all five days), World News Tonight is -3% in total viewers and a whopping -17% in A25-54 viewers, as ABC’s evening newscast continues a trend of losing viewers under 55 on an annual basis.

The Monday, Oct. 23 broadcast of World News Tonight was not Nielsen-rated/excluded due to Monday Night Football preempting the evening newscast on ABC stations in several markets west of the Mississippi. The Monday retitling of ABC World News Tonight has been a consistent practice since the start of the Monday Night Football season, and probably hurts World News Tonight’s weekly averages, as Monday has historically been the most-watched day of the week for network newscasts.


Despite a second-place finish, NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt continues to give World News Tonight a run for its money, gaining viewers from the previous week in both key measurements — Total Viewers and Adults 25-54. The newscast drew an average of 1.06 million A25-54 viewers this past week, +5% from what the newscast averaged the week earlier and just -20,000 fewer than ABC. However, Nightly News’ 1.06 million demo average happens to be -6% from the year-ago week.

In total viewers, NBC Nightly News was the third-most-watched show across all of broadcast and cable TV (excluding sports) for the week, averaging 6.6 million. That’s a +3% gain from the week before, but -1% from the year-ago week.

According to data from Adobe Analytics and Partner Portals—and the YouTube Analytics Portal, full weekday episodes of NBC Nightly News earned an average of  1.1 million total views and 839,000 viewers last week.

Additionally, with Holt anchoring live from Israel and later Maine, Nightly News managed to beat World News Tonight on three separate days in October — Thursday, Oct. 26, Thursday, Oct. 19 and on Wednesday, Oct. 11, all in the Adults 25-54 demo. The last time Nightly News beat World News Tonight on at least one individual day for three consecutive weeks was December 2019. The newscast also delivered its largest average total audience for a month since March 2023.

Changing channels, The CBS Evening News with Norah O’Donnell averaged 4.715 million total viewers and 703,000 Adults 25-54 for the week of Oct. 23. That’s +1% in total viewers and +3% in A25-54 viewers from the previous week. CBS Evening News saw a drop-off in total viewers from the year-ago week (-2%), and a drop-off in A25-54 viewers also from the year-ago week (-11%).

Nielsen live-plus-same-day averages for the week of Oct. 23, 2023:

ABC (4 days) NBC CBS
• Total Viewers: 7,732,000 6,599,000 4,715,000
• A25-54: 1,076,000 1,056,000 703,000




Source: The Nielsen Company, NTI Total Viewers, Adults 25-54 Live + SD. Current Week (w/o 10/23/23), Previous Week (w/o 10/16/23) and Year-Ago Week (w/o 10/24/22). Month: 9/25/2023 – 10/29/2023 vs. 9/26/2022 – 10/30/2022. 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.