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ABC News’ ‘World News Tonight’ Was the Top Telecast in Cable and Broadcast Last Week

As more Americans stay home and seek information on coronavirus, the news industry benefits

Last Thursday’s “World News Tonight with David Muir” was the top telecast in total viewers across cable and broadcast for the week, according to Nielsen data. In fact, all five nightly broadcasts from ABC News appeared in last week’s top eight programs. The other three slots were made up of Tuesday’s NCIS and Sunday’s “60 Minutes” on CBS as well as the Democratic debate on CNN.

“World News Tonight” on Thursday was the top telecast of the week in all of broadcast and cable television in total viewers, bringing in 10.814 million of them. Of those, 2.412 million were in the advertiser-coveted age demographic of 25-54. Together, the total viewer numbers and demo numbers gave “World News Tonight” its strongest telecast in over two years across the board. Further, the Thursday telecast became the most-watched single evening newscast on any network in over two years.

All told, “World News Tonight with David Muir” was the evening’s number-one newscast in all key targets last week: The average total viewership was 9.923 million viewers, of whom 2.089 million were in the key demo. 

Droves of American workers are telecommuting or otherwise homebound and looking for information on the spread of the coronavirus, which has now been labeled a pandemic and a national emergency.

The coronavirus spread has affected all American industries, from local businesses to sports and entertainment. TheWrap has been monitoring the canceled events in tech, media, politics and entertainment here. The Tribeca Film Festival, Rock & Roll Hall of Fame 2020 Induction Ceremony and Coachella are among the events being postponed or canceled in reaction to the spread of the virus.

TV productions and movies  have been suspended or delayed worldwide due to the pandemic. Elsewhere, talk shows have forgone live studio audiences while Disneyland and other entertainment parks have announced closures. Broadway  productions have also been halted.

Consumers aren’t the only ones affected; the May upfronts — where networks present their programming slates — have all been canceled.