TV ratings: NBC and Lester Holt reclaim lead in tight evening news race

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The evening news ratings seesaw continues to teeter, now falling back in favor of NBC. Three weeks into Lester Holt's official tenure as anchor of Nightly News, and five months after he took Brian Williams' old seat, the nightly broadcast has regained No. 1 status for the 2014-15 season.


Nightly is now outperforming ABC's World News Tonight by a narrow margin of 5,000 viewers in the key news demographic, averaging 2.086 million adults 25-54. Among total viewers, NBC still holds a strong advantage of 355,000 viewers with its average 8.784 million.

The week of July 6, Holt's third since seeing his name tacked onto the broadcast, brought his third consecutive demo win. Nightly averaged 1.959 million adults 25-54 compared to ABC's 1.781 million.

NBC and ABC's back and forth in the ratings race has played out like a tennis match for the last year, with the past few months proving especially tight. When ABC took the lead for the season over NBC back in June, it marked the first time in almost 20 years. And given how narrow the gap is at the moment, it could easily snap back in ABC's favor

David Muir, who was off the first week of July, has brought stability and growth to World News in the wake of Diane Sawyer's 2014 departure. It's something NBC is likely hoping to duplicate now that Holt is the new permanent fixture.

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