Williams on Top, Couric in Last

NBC's Nightly News with Brian Williams surged to the top of the evening news ratings last week, collecting its largest audience since Katie Couric debuted as anchor of The CBS Evening News.

NBC outperformed CBS and ABC's World News With Charles Gibson last week in total viewers and the key 25 to 54 demographic and posted its best ratings since March.
For the week of Oct. 9, NBC averaged 8.84 million viewers and a 2.3 rating/9 share in the key 25 to 54 demographic, according to Nielsen Media Research. ABC finished number two with 8.04 million viewers and a 2.2/9 in the demo, while Couric was number three with 7.33 million viewers and a 2.0/8 in the demo.

With Couric at the anchor desk, CBS improved its marks from a year ago, up 6% in total viewers and 11% in the demo. Meanwhile, NBC was down 4% in viewers and the demo, while ABC slipped 3% in viewers and 12% in the demo.

While Couric's audience has slipped from her debut week -- when heavy sampling drove ratings as high as a13.6 million on Sept. 5 -- she is up from last week, when Evening News averaged 7.04 million viewers and a 1.9 in the demo.

ABC says World News last week recorded its highest viewership and demo ratings in six months.