Week of Sept. 20 Evening News Ratings: World News Tonight Wins Premiere Week, Improves in A25-54 Demo

By A.J. Katz 

Nielsen data for the week of Sept. 20, 2021 is in, and ABC World News Tonight with David Muir was the No. 1 newscast for the week, not just in average total viewers (nearly 8 million) but also among adults 25-54 (1.55 million) for premiere week of the 2021-’22 TV season.

World News Tonight has won the last 148 weeks in average total viewers, and 76 of the last 78 weeks in adults 25-54. The newscast also grew its audience from the previous week, +1% in average total viewers, and by +7% the key A25-54 demo — marking its largest premiere week margin of victory in 26 years. Additionally, compared to the same week in the news-heavy year of 2020, however, the newscast shed -6% of its average total audience and -6% of its A25-54 demo audience.

Second-place NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt averaged 6.72 million total viewers, and 1.26 million adults 25-54 this past week. Like World News Tonight, Nightly News posted growth in both total viewers (+2%), and among adults (+4%) from the previous week. However, NBC’s evening newscast was down by -15% of its A25-54 viewers and -8% in average total viewers from the same week in 2020.


On YouTube, full weekday episodes of NBC Nightly News earned an average of 774,000 views and 638,000 viewers last week, with the average consumer watching for roughly 12 minutes. That’s according to data from Adobe Analytics and Partner Portals, and the YouTube Analytics Portal.

While ABC and NBC posted gains from the previous week, CBS Evening News with Norah O’Donnell saw audience losses. The newscast averaged 4.78 million total viewers (-1% from the prior week) and 841,000 adults 25-54 (-5% from the prior week). Compared to the year-ago week, Evening News was down by -7% in average total viewers and -10% in Adults 25-54.

Nielsen live-plus-same-day averages for the week of Sept. 20:

• Total Viewers: 7,997,000 6,719,000 4,777,000
• A25-54: 1,554,000 1,257,000 841,000




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