Week of Sept. 26 Evening News Ratings: ABC, NBC, CBS See Ratings Growth Driven by Hurricane Ian Coverage

By A.J. Katz 

More Americans tuned into the evening news than usual this past week, undoubtedly interested in the networks’ live, on-the-ground coverage of Hurricane Ian as the Category 4 storm leveled southwest Florida.

Norah O’Donnell, Lester Holt and David Muir were all on the ground anchoring their respective newscasts from Florida, albeit for varying periods of time.

According to Nielsen live-plus-same-day data for the week of September 26, World News Tonight with David Muir averaged 8.51 million total viewers, the newscast’s largest audience since the week of March 7, and 1.47 million adults 25-54, the newscast’s largest A25-54 audience since the week of April 11. With those numbers, World News Tonight has defeated its competition from NBC and CBS 200 of the past 201 weeks in average total viewers—and 129 of the last 131 weeks among adults 25-54.


The ABC evening newscast, which ranked as America’s second-most-watched non-sports program last week, gained +11% in total viewers and +14% in A25-54 viewers from the prior week (Sept. 19). Compared with the year-ago week,  WNT is up +7% in total viewers and +4% among adults 25-54

On Monday, Sept. 26, World News Tonight was retitled to “WNT-ABC” due to Monday Night Football (which airs on both ESPN and ABC), and the retitled telecast is excluded from the weekly averages. As a result, World News Tonight’s weekly ratings averages are based on four days (Tuesday-Friday), whereas CBS’ and NBC’s ratings are based on all five days.

NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt averaged 7.08 million total viewers this past weekmaking it the fourth-most-watched show on U.S. TV, excluding sports, specials and syndication. The 7.08 million viewer average on linear represents a 29-week high for the newscast (largest audience since week of March 7), is +10% from the prior week and +11% from the year-ago week. Nightly News also averaged 1.21 million adults 25-54 on linear, which is a 26-week high for the newscast (largest audience since week of March 28), is +9% from the previous week and +5% 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 953,000 views and 763,000 viewers last weekthe newscast’s strongest week on digital since March.

Last but never least, CBS Evening News with Norah O’Donnell averaged more than 4.97 million total viewers this past week, which +9% from the previous week and +4% from the year-ago week. The newscast also averaged 816,000 adults 25-54, which is +4% from the previous week and +1% from the year-ago week.

Nielsen live-plus-same-day averages for the week of Sept. 26, 2022:

• Total Viewers: 8,506,000 7,081,000 4,972,000
• A25-54: 1,467,000 1,208,000 816,000




Source: The Nielsen Company, NTI Total Viewers, Adults 25-54 Live + SD Current Week (w/o 9/26/22), Previous Week (w/o 9/19/22) and Year-Ago Week (w/o 9/27/21). Most Current Data Stream: Season 2022-2023 (9/19 – 10/2/22), Season 2021-2023 (9/20 – 10/3/22). 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.