ABC’s World News Tonight with David Muir
In a week when the Coronavirus pandemic dominated the news and upended the lives of millions of Americans, Thursday evening’s edition of ABC’s flagship evening newscast, World News Tonight with David Muir, was not only the most-watched newscast in all of broadcast or cable news, but the highest-rated telecast on all of TV, delivering a total audience of 10.8 million viewers.
According to ratings data compiled by Nielsen, World News Tonight outperformed such prime-time shows such as CBS’ NCIS, which finished in second place on the week with 10.757 million viewers, and the enduring ratings powerhouse, CBS’ 60 Minutes (3rd place on the week with 10.443 million viewers). Each night last week, ABC’s evening newscast landed in the top ten most-watched shows on television for the week.
WASHINGTON, DC – MARCH 11: US President Donald Trump addresses the nation from the Oval Office about … [+]
Thursday’s evening newscast came in the hours before President Trump delivered an Oval Office address to the nation on the Coronavirus crisis, announcing the suspension of air travel from most of Europe, an address that sent markets tumbling and forced administration officials to issue several clarifications of the president’s remarks.
It was the ABC newscast’s best performance in in more than two years—and World News Tonight’s largest single-night lead over rival NBC Nightly News in more than a decade (10.814 million vs. NBC’s 9.132 million).
(L-R) Moderators Univision’s journalist Ilia Calderon (hidden), CNN chief Washington correspondent … [+]
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Even a presidential debate, which aired Sunday night on CNN—a pared-down affair in response to the need to limit exposure for the candidates and others in the face of the virus—could not outperform ABC’s Thursday night newscast. The Democratic debate between Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders drew 10 million viewers on CNN and landed in fifth place overall on the week, right behind Friday night’s edition of World News Tonight, which took fourth place with a total audience of 10.085 million viewers.