Week of Sept. 7 Evening News Ratings: ABC World News Tonight Marks 24 Weeks at No. 1, Delivers Week-to-Week Audience Growth

By A.J. Katz 

Another week, another ratings win for ABC World News Tonight With David Muir.

ABC’s flagship newscast averaged nearly 9 million total viewers and 1.8 million adults 25-54 during Labor Day week (Sept. 7, 2020), a larger audience than its NBC and CBS competition for the 24th consecutive week.

The broadcast also earned its largest margin of victory over NBC Nightly News in five months—since the week of April 13, 2020.


World News Tonight posted audience growth relative to the prior week (Aug. 31), +5% in total viewers and +11% in adults 25-54. Relative to the year-ago week (Sept. 9, 2020), WNT was +11% in total viewers and +21% in adults 25-54.

It’s worth noting that ABC World News Tonight was rated based on a four-day average (Tues.-Fri.) due to Labor Day.

ABC World News Tonight is having its most-watched season in 17 years and averaging its largest adults 25-54 audience in five years—since the 2003-04 and the 2015-16 seasons, respectively.

NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt averaged 7.25 million total viewers and nearly 1.5 million adults 25-54 during the week of Sept. 7, and it was the third-most-watched show on all of U.S. television for the week (excluding sports and syndication).

NBC’s flagship newscast, which was rated based on a three-day average (Tues, Wed, Fri.) due to Labor Day and NFL coverage, lost total viewers from the prior week (-4%) and adults 25-54 (-2%). Versus the year-ago week (Sept. 9 2019), Nightly was -6% in total viewers and -9% in A25-54 viewers.

For the week of Sept. 7, first-run broadcasts of the CBS Evening News with Norah O’Donnell averaged 5.13 million total viewers and 922,000 A25-54 viewers.

Compared to the prior week, Evening News, which is the network’s most-watched show, was -6% in total viewers and -5% in the key A25-54 demo. Compared to the year-ago week, Evening News was +2% in total viewers and +1% among adults 25-54.

CBS Evening News ratings averages are based on four days (Tues.-Fri.) due to Labor Day.

Nielsen ratings for ABC, NBC and CBS include additional airings at various times during the day, and in a variety of markets, large and small. They reflect the addition of Out of Home (OOH) viewership that began being measured on Aug. 31 across only 44 markets tracked by Nielsen.

Nielsen live-plus-same-day averages for the week of Sept. 7:

• Total Viewers: 8,972,000 7,249,000 5,128,000
• A25-54: 1,777,000 1,458,000 922,000