David Muir’s ‘World News Tonight’ Tops Demo Ratings for Debut Week

ABC News franchise has now won demo nine of past 10 weeks, though there is a slight asterisk for this one

David Muir

ABC’s “World News Tonight With David Muir” bested its competition in the key 25-54 news demo for the new anchor’s debut week, pulling in just over two million viewers.

The victory makes it ABC’s fifth week in a row topping the demo, the newscast’s longest winning streak in nearly seven years. It also marked the ninth weekly win of the past 10 weeks.

However, the week was not entirely a typical one, as it contained Labor Day specials and sports preemptions across the competition.

Also read: David Muir’s ABC ‘World News Tonight’ Debut Tops, But Day 2 Falls Back to Earth

On the Nielsen sheets, “World News Tonight” outperformed NBC “Nightly News” (1.967 million) by 73,000 news demo viewers, the network boasted in a Tuesday press release. The ABC show bested “CBS Evening News” by 1.768 million total viewers, 427,000 adults 25-54.

The ABC evening news built on the prior week’s performance (7.383 million and 1.942 million, respectively) in both total viewers (up 12 percent) and they key demo (a five percent bump) to deliver its largest overall audience since March and best news demo performance since May.

“World News” was also up for the week in a year-over-year study.

Also read: Ratings: Diane Sawyer Ties for Demo Win in Last Full Week at ‘World News’

It is important to note that on Monday Sept. 1 — Labor Day — “World News Tonight,” “Nightly News” and “Evening News” were coded as specials and are thus excluded from the averages.

Also, “Nightly News” was retitled to “NBC Nightly News” on Thursday for the NFL opener, while “Evening News” was retitled “CBS Evening News” on Friday due to the U.S. Open — both telecasts were excluded from the averages.

Also read: CNN Topples MSNBC in August Ratings – But Fox News Is Still No. 1

Therefore, ABC’s averages are based on four days (Tuesday-Friday), while NBC’s (Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday) and CBS’ (Tuesday-Thursday) weekly averages are based on three days.

On Thursday, the evening of Joan Rivers‘ death, “World News Tonight” had its best numbers of the week, while traditional frontrunner “NBC Nightly News” had the night off for the NFL game.