With Sweeps Approaching, Katie Still Ranks Third

Heading into November sweeps -- which some research executives have pegged as Katie Couric's next big ratings test on CBS -- NBC is firmly leading the network evening news race, while Couric is in third, a position she's held for several weeks.

For the week of Oct. 23, The NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams averaged 8.86 million viewers and a 2.4 rating/9 share in the key 25 to 54 demographic, according to Nielsen Media Research.

ABC's World News with Charles Gibson was second in both categories, with 8.38 million viewers and a 2.2/9 in the demo.

The CBS Evening News with Katie Couric finished third with 7.29 million viewers and a 1.9/7 in the demo. While Couric is currently in third place, she has consistently posted higher marks than CBS recorded a year ago in both total viewers and in the news demo.

NBC says last week's Nightly ratings represent its largest viewer total since last March and its widest margin over Evening News since April. Nightly News has now ranked as no. 1 for 117 of the last 121 weeks, NBC says. (In Couric's first two weeks, Evening News claimed the no. 1 distinction)