Week of Sept. 13 Evening News Ratings: ABC World News Tonight Closes 2020-’21 Season With Another Dominant Win

By A.J. Katz 

Nielsen data for the final week of the 2020-’21 TV season (Sept. 13) is in, and ABC World News Tonight with David Muir was the most-watched non-sports/syndicated show on TV for the week. The program averaged 7.88 million total viewers, as well as 1.45 million adults 25-54.

World News Tonight continued to dominate the evening news competition, the newscast grew its audience from the previous week (which was rated on just four days due to Monday being Labor Day) by +2% in average total viewers, and by +2% the key A25-54 demo. Compared to the same week in the news-heavy year of 2020, however, the newscast shed -12% of its average total audience and -16% of its A25-54 demo audience.

Because live-plus-same-day Nielsen data for the week of Sept. 13, 2021 is now in, we can safely report that ABC World News Tonight ranked as the most-watched program of the week on all of television (excluding sports and syndication) for 20 of 52 weeks of the season—more weeks at No. 1 than any other program on broadcast or cable this season.

Second-place NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt averaged 6.56 million total viewers, No. 3 on all of U.S. TV for the week, excluding sports, syndication and specials. The newscast also averaged 1.21 million adults 25-54. Nightly News gained +2% in adults 25-54 and +1% in average total viewers from the previous week (which was rated on just three days because of Labor Day and NFL season opener on NBC). However, Nightly News was down -21% in A25-54 viewers and -13% in average total viewers from the same week in 2020.

On YouTube, full weekday episodes of NBC Nightly News earned an average of 748,000 views and 613,000 viewers last week. That’s according to data from Adobe Analytics and Partner Portals, and the YouTube Analytics Portal.

Despite its usual third place finish, CBS Evening News with Norah O’Donnell saw the most growth from the prior week in key categories, averaging 4.85 million total viewers (+5%) and 886,000 adults 25-54 (+4%). However, the newscast lost -14% in average total viewers and -12% in A25-54 from the year ago week, and it’s important to note that Evening News Nielsen ratings from last week are based on a four-day average (Monday-Thursday, retitled Friday).

Nielsen live-plus-same-day averages for the week of Sept. 13:

• Total Viewers: 7,883,000 6,556,000 4,848,000
• A25-54: 1,453,000 1,206,000 886,000




Source: The Nielsen Company, NTI Total Viewers, Adults 25-54. Live + SD Current Week (w/o 9/13/21), Previous Week (w/o 9/6/21) and Year-Ago Week (w/o 9/14/20). Most Current: 2020 -2021 Season (9/21/20-9/19/21). 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.