As Viewers Flock Back To Evening Newscasts During Coronavirus Crisis, ‘World News Tonight’ Reaches Ratings Milestone

David Muir ABC World News Tonight Tv anchor
David Muir hosting ABC's 'World News Tonight' ABC

ABC News’ World News Tonight with David Muir again was the most watched show in broadcast and cable last week, as the traditional evening newscasts enjoy a resurgence during the coronavirus crisis.

But the network said that the half-hour broadcast also reached a ratings milestone for the season to date, ranking No. 1 in total viewers and in two key demographics, adults 25-54 and adults 18-49, where it holds a narrow lead over NBC Nightly News. The last time World News Tonight reached that benchmark was during the 1995-96 season. The figures come from ABC via the Nielsen Co.

NBC Nightly News was the third most watched show of the week.

For the week of April 27, World News Tonight had 10.5 million total viewers, NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt had 9.5 million, and CBS Evening News with Norah O’Donnell had 6.6 million. In adults 25-54, the numbers were 2.14 million for World News Tonight, 2.08 million for NBC Nightly News and 1.14 million for CBS Evening News. In the 18-49 demo, the numbers were 1.47 million for World News Tonight, 1.42 million for NBC Nightly News and 797,000 for CBS Evening News. 

All of the newscasts were up compared with the same period a year ago. ABC and NBC’s were up by 25% and CBS by 15% in total viewers.

Last season, World News Tonight beat NBC Nightly News in total viewers, but the latter topped in the key demos. The Nielsen figures are live-plus-same day airings.

CBS Evening News with Norah O’Donnell was the top rated show on the network on April 27, and in the top five  of all shows on the network for each day of the week. CBS also has scheduled a rebroadcast of the newscast at 4 a.m. The combined broadcasts drove its total viewership to 7.01 million, the network said.

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