RATINGS: WORLD NEWS TONIGHT is the #1 Program In The US Across Broadcast and Cable For 5th Straight Week

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RATINGS: WORLD NEWS TONIGHT is the #1 Program In The US Across Broadcast and Cable For 5th Straight Week

ABC News' "World News Tonight with David Muir" was the No. 1 program in America on all of broadcast and cable television for the week of May 18, 2020, based on Live + Same Day Data from Nielsen Media Research. "World News Tonight" held the Top 4 telecasts and 5 of the Top 6 overall in Total Viewers with its Monday (10.104 million - No. 1), Tuesday  (10.001 million - No. 2),  Wednesday  (9.519 million - No. 3), Thursday (9.492 million - No. 4) and Friday (9.115 million - No. 6) airings, respectively.  In addition, "World News Tonight" placed 3 telecasts in the Top 10 among Adults 25-54 and 2 telecasts in Top 10 in Adults 18-49 for the week.  All week, "World News Tonight" dedicated newscasts to coverage of the COVID-19 outbreak.  


For the first time in 24 years, "World News Tonight" is ranking as America's No. 1 newscast in Total Viewers, Adults 25-54 and Adults 18-49 season to date -since the 1995-1996 season. 


"World News Tonight" stood as the evening's No. 1 newscast in America for the 8th straight week in Total Viewers (9.779 million), Adults 25-54 (1.856 million) and Adults 18-49 (1.214 million) for the week. "World News Tonight" has won all 35 weeks of the season and the last 78 weeks overall. "World News Tonight" outdelivered "NBC Nightly News" (8.695 million, 1.749 million and 1.163 million, respectively) by 1.084 million Total Viewers, 107,000 Adults 25-54 and 51,000 Adults 18-49.  "World News Tonight" increased its lead year to year in Total Viewers (+18% - 1.084 million vs. 919,000) and Adults 18-49 (+132% - 51,000 vs. 22,000).  


"World News Tonight" improved year to year double digits in  Total Viewers (+1.496 million/+18% - 9.779 million vs. 8.283 million), Adults 25-54 (+278,000/+18% - 1.856 million vs. 1.578 million) and Adults 18-49 (+133,000/+12% - 1.214 million vs. 1.081 million) for 11 weeks running.


Season to date, "World News Tonight" (9.651 million) ranks No. 1 in Total Viewers at this point of the season for the 4th consecutive year, based on Most Current Data. In fact, "World News Tonight" is  doubling its lead over "NBC Nightly News" (8.586 million) from last season (+100% - 1.065 million vs. 533,000) to its largest season lead in 24 years-since the 1995-1996 season. "World News Tonight" is beating "CBS Evening News" (6.074 million) by 3.577 million, posting its biggest Total Viewer season advantage in at least 28 years (since at least the start of Nielsen electronic database in the 1991-1992 season). 


"World News Tonight" (1.956 million and 1.330 million, respectively) is also No. 1 for the season leading "Nightly News" (1.884 million and 1.317 million, respectively) in Adults 25-54 (+72,000) and Adults 18-49 (+13,000) to take the top spot in both key Adult demos for the first time at this point of a season in 24 years-since the 1995-1996. 

In addition, World News Tonight" is improving in Total Viewers (+822,000/+9% - 9.829 million vs. 8.829 million), Adults 25-54 (+146,000/+8% - 1.956 million vs. 1.810 million) and Adults 18-49 (+115,000/+9% - 1.330 million vs. 1.215 million), compared to the same point last season.  In fact, "World News Tonight" is seeing its most-watched season in 16 years and strongest Adults 25-54 performance in 5 years - since the 2003-2004 and the 2014-2015 seasons, respectively. 


For the week, "World News Tonight" (9.779 million, 1.856 million and 1.214 million, respectively) beat "CBS Evening News" (6.006 million, 1.053 million and 732,000, respectively) in Total Viewers (+3.773 million), Adults 25-54 (+803,000) and Adults 18-49 (+482,000). 


NOTE: On Friday (5/22/20), "World News Tonight" was retitled to "Wrld News Tonite." "CBS Evening News" was retitled to "CBS Evening Nws," and "NBC Nightly News" was retitled to "NBC Nitely News." In addition, due to technical issues on Tuesday (5/19/20), "CBS Evening News" was coded as a breakout and was retitled to "CBS Evening Nws." The retitled telecasts are excluded from THE WEEKLY and season averages. ABC's and NBC's averages are based on 4 days (Monday-Thursday), while CBS' weekly averages are based on three days (Monday and Wednesday-Thursday). 

ABC "World News Tonight with David Muir" airs 6:30-7:00 p.m. EDT on ABC. Almin Karamehmedovic is the executive producer of the broadcast. 


EVENING NEWS (Week of May 18, 2020): 


ADULTS 25-54

ADULTS 18-49




1.5/ 9; 1,856,000

0.9/7; 1,214,000




1.4/ 8; 1,749,000

0.9/7 ; 1,163,000




0.9/ 5; 1,053,000

0.6/4; 732,000

3.9/ 9

Source: The Nielsen Company, NTI Total Viewers, Adults 25-54 and Adults 18-49 Live + SD Current Week (w/o 5/18/20), Previous Week (w/o 5/11/20) and Year-Ago Week (w/o 5/20/19). Most Current: 2019-2020 Season (9/23/19-5/24/20) and 2018-2019 Season (9/24/18-5/26/19). Nielsen ratings for ABC, NBC and CBS include additional airings in select markets. Averages based on regular telecasts. Broadcast and Cable ranker for w/o 5/18/20 based on Total Day. 

Photo credit: ABC News

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