Week of Sept. 19 Evening News Ratings: World News Tonight Wins Broadcast Season Premiere Week

By A.J. Katz 

New week, new trend: ABC, NBC and CBS evening newscasts all gained viewers from the previous week.  However, one trend remains the same: ABC is No. 1.

According to live-plus-same-day data from Nielsen, ABC World News Tonight with David Muir averaged 7.68 million total viewers and 1.29 million adults 25-54 for the week of Sept. 19, 2022—the opening week of the 2022-’23 broadcast TV season. With that result, ABC’s evening newscast has now won three consecutive season premiere weeks in the aforementioned measurements, defeated its competition from NBC and CBS 199 of the past 200 weeks in average total viewers—and 128 of the last 130 weeks among adults 25-54.

In addition, World News Tonight was the most-watched non-sports show on U.S. TV during premiere week for the second time in the last three years.


World News Tonight gained +5% in total viewers and +5% in A25-54 viewers from what the newscast averaged the prior week (Sept. 12). The year-over-year trend looks worse, however, with ABC’s evening newscast down by -4% in total viewers and a whopping -17% among adults 25-54 from the year-ago week of Sept. 20, 2021.

It’s also worth noting that on Monday, Sept. 19, WNT was retitled to “WNT-ABC” due to Monday Night Football (which airs on both ESPN and ABC). The retitled telecast is excluded from the weekly averages. World News Tonight’s weekly ratings averages are based on four days (Tuesday-Friday), whereas CBS’ and NBC’s are based on all five days.

Last week, NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt averaged its largest total audience in roughly five months6.46 million total viewersmaking it the sixth-most-watched show on U.S. TV, excluding sports, specials and syndication, of course. The newscast also averaged 1.11 million adults 25-54 on linear. That’s a solid gain of +10% in adults 25-54 and +6% in total viewers from the prior week.  On the downside, Nightly News saw a decline of -4% in total viewers and -11% among adults 25-54 from the year-ago week of Sept. 20, 2021.

On YouTube, full weekday episodes of NBC Nightly News earned an average of 615,000 views and 490,000 viewers last week. That’s according to data from Adobe Analytics and Partner Portals—and the YouTube Analytics Portal.

CBS Evening News with Norah O’Donnell averaged more than 4.57 million total viewers but just 781,000 adults 25-54 this past week. That’s +4% in total viewers and a solid +13% in adults 25-54 from the prior week, but -4% in total viewers and -7% in adults 25-54 from the year-ago week.

Nielsen live-plus-same-day averages for the week of Sept. 19:

• Total Viewers: 7,676,000 6,456,000 4,574,000
• A25-54: 1,289,000 1,113,000 781,000




Source: The Nielsen Company, NTI Total Viewers, Adults 25-54 Live + SD Current Week (w/o 9/19/22), Previous Week (w/o 9/12/22) and Year-Ago Week (w/o 9/20/21). 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.