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Brian Williams-less ‘Nightly News’ Retakes Demo Lead and Wins Total Viewers

For third full week of Williams’ suspension, Lester Holt draws almost 9.7 million viewers and nearly 2.5 million 25-54 viewers, beating ABC’s ”World News Tonight“

NBC “Nightly News” with substitute host Lester Holt won the week of Feb. 23rd in both total viewers and the advertiser-coveted 25-54 demo; in the latter, “Nightly” retook the lead a week after ABC’s “World News Tonight” with David Muir won the demo.

In the third week of Brian Williams‘ suspension, “Nightly” attracted 9,671,000 viewers and 2,463,000 demo viewers, beating “World News Tonight,” which drew 9,473,000 viewers and 2,373,000 demo viewers. Week-to-week, “Nightly” gained 16,000 viewers and 97,000 viewers in the 25-54 demo.

“World News Tonight” closed its viewer gap with “Nightly News” week-to-week by 52 percent, shrinking its deficit by 218,0000 viewers. The network also had its best February sweeps period in eight years.

In three weeks without Brian Williams anchoring, Lester Holt has kept NBC’s evening broadcast No. 1 in total viewers, although ABC has closed the gap in total viewers, and won the 25-54 demo for the week of Feb. 16th.

Savannah Guthrie filled in for Holt on Monday as he tended to a family medical emergency; Holt will be back in the anchor chair Tuesday.

The “CBS Evening News” finished in third place, but showed year-over-year gains, growing 11 percent in total viewers and nine percent in the demo.