Monday, May 27, 2024

Where in the World is David Muir? NBC’s Lester Holt’s Winning During ABC Anchor’s Absence


Where in the world is David Muir? The ABC anchor has been MIA since the beginning of Hurricane Harvey, the biggest story for network evening news in eons. Muir has been like The Ghost and Mr. Muir– unseen. And no word from him on social media. It’s weird. When you’re an anchor of one of the Big 3 newscasts and something bad happens, you come home from vacation. Immediately. No word from ABC. I’ll tell you when I hear. (UPDATE He’s on vacation, most likely enjoying the Tuscan sun or Provencal cuisine. An insider says Muir was told the ABC was bench was deep and he needn’t return.)

Muir’s absence has been to the benefit of Lester Holt, who put on his big boots and got in the water. On Monday and Tuesday this week, Lester beat ABC World New Tonight in the key demo 25-54 handily. You can see the numbers below. Around 400,000 ABC viewers didn’t come back from Monday to Tuesday. The same number didn’t return to NBC, but the difference was that younger viewers stayed.  On Tuesday night, NBC had 500,000 more key demo viewers than ABC.

CBS Evening News, which I like a lot (it’s very well written) remained in third place. But it’s got a lot of quality, and Anthony Mason is doing a great job. Norah O’Donnell puts on the rainboots for the Tiffany network. And she’s doing swell, too! UPDATE here, too: Mason didn’t do Thursday night’s show, as CBS seems to have given up the ratings war.


MON 8/28 9,410,000 P2+ 2,151,000 P25-54
TUE 8/29 9,012,000 / 1,864,000
MON 8/28 6,806,000 / 1,511,000
TUE 8/29 6,538,000 / 1,451,000
MON 8/28 9,378,000 / 2,292,000
TUE 8/29 8,910,000 / 2,361,000
(Numbers thanks to
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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