NBC Nightly News debuted the first of Kate Snow’s series on transgender children last night. According to fast affiliate stats — which measure timeslot early ratings — NBC Nightly News logged 7.884 million viewers; 1.943 million in the news demo. ABC’s World News Tonight appears to have outstripped it on both counts (though the NBC newscast’s numbers tend to adjust upward to a larger degree than ABC’s when final stats come in) and by bigger margins than ABC had on Monday, particularly in the news demo. WNT early stats show 8.002 million viewers; 2.127 million in the demo. CBS Evening News averaged 6.507 million viewers; 1.430 million in the demo.
But, NBC’s segment on five-year-old Jacob Lemay, may fare better on social media than on broadcast. The video post on the newscast’s Facebook page jumped from last night’s 3 million viewers, 47K likes and as many shares, to about 7 million views this morning; the Facebook preview for tonight’s segment on Malisa Phillips has about 300,000 views so far.
Probably not coincidentally, NBC Nightly News‘ reports on transitioning children (Part 2 airs tonight, and additional coverage aired this morning on NBC News’ Today show) were scheduled for the same week ABC News broadcasts its much anticipated Diane Sawyer interview with Bruce Jenner, who is expected to discuss his own transitioning. That’s scheduled as a 20/20 special for Friday primetime, but Sawyer will be all over ABC’s daytime schedule to promote the sit-down, including Good Morning America, The View and Live With Kelly And Michael.
NBC Nightly News has now logged fewer viewers than ABC’s World News Tonight for three consecutive weeks, after the ABC newscast snapped Nightly’s 288-week winning streak.
NBC News made no reference to the coincidence; the closest it came to addressing the scheduling was a mention that the transgender community has become “more visible in American society.”
Tonight’s segment will profile eight-year-old Phillips, who made headlines recently when her grandfather, Rep. Mike Honda tweeted about her. Honda will be featured in tonight’s segment.