Nielsen strips ABC's 'World News Tonight' of primetime crown after admitting ratings error

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By RYAN GORMAN

The ABC network's reign over primetime national newscasts was short-lived – in fact, it never happened.

Television ratings czar Nielsen recently crowned David Muir and ABC's "World News Tonight" the kings of news only to take the throne out from under them this week in a ratings correction.

Nielsen previously announced Muir had overtaken the Brian Williams-anchored "NBC Nightly News" for the first time in 265 weeks.

But last week the firm admitted an error in processing ratings that led to a broad series of changes to previously published ratings reports.

One of the corrections included primetime newscasts.

Updated stats show Williams had 8,283,000 viewers while Muir had 8,113,000 for the week: A difference of 170,000 pairs of eyeballs.

Muir has consistently beat Williams in the key 25-54 demographic since taking over for famed anchor Diane Sawyer on September 1, though, and for the week had 2,065,000 viewers to Williams' 1,942,000.

"We are pleased that the corrected numbers confirm that NBC Nightly News is the #1 news broadcast in America, and has been for the last 265 weeks," an NBC spokesperson told TheWrap. "We remain, first and foremost, committed to our viewers and bringing them a broadcast with credible, authoritative news they can trust."

The errors do not appear to have affected cable or local television channels.

"We haven't seen those numbers yet, but this in no way changes the obvious momentum at World News," ABC News SVP for Communications Jeffrey Schneider told TheWrap.

"We've always said this is a very long game and we're proud to put on the best broadcast every night with first rate journalists and information that helps our viewers better understand the world."

The Scott Pelley-anchored "CBS Evening News" remains a distant third-place.

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