Scary good numbers for ‘Walking Dead’
AMC zombie drama draws 16.1 million total viewers
October 15, 2013
“The Walking Dead” can be classified as a phenomenon now.
A record 16.1 million total viewers tuned in for Sunday night’s season-four premiere at 9 p.m., according to Nielsen, bettering the show’s previous series record by an incredible 3.7 million viewers.
The AMC drama also set a new series record among adults 18-49, averaging 10.4 million.
That was up 2.3 million from the previous series best, set during the season three finale.
Perhaps more impressive, that makes “Dead” the most-watched show in the demo on any channel, broadcast or cable, this fall, and that includes sports. Not even an NFL game has drawn more 18-49 viewers this season.
The huge gains in viewership since season three suggest that “Dead” is following the same growth pattern as AMC’s recently ended hit “Breaking Bad.”
“Bad” more than quadrupled its viewership from its first to its final year as viewers caught up with previous seasons on Netflix and by other means of binge viewing.
When the show’s final episode aired, more than 10 million people tuned in, making it the most-watched basic cable series finale ever. That would have been hard to predict based on the show’s modest ratings back in season one.
“Dead” is seeing similar growth, though the pattern is a bit different. The show was already one of the most popular programs on television entering Sunday night. It finished as the No. 1 entertainment program on broadcast or cable last season in 18-49s, and it looks like it’s on pace to maintain that title easily this fall.
AMC is forecasting that with DVR playback, “Dead” will grow to more than 20 million viewers.
The network’s post-“Dead” talk show, “The Talking Dead,” which breaks down key plot points on the program, also drew record numbers Sunday.
“Talking” averaged a series-best 5.1 million total viewers and 3.3 million 18-49s at 10 p.m.
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This season’s broadcast superlatives
- Sherri Goldstein becomes director of integrated strategy at Moonrocks
- Anand Kini becomes CFO at NBCUniversal
- John Verre rises to VP of automotive sales at Cablevision
- Tom Callahan becomes CFO at Reader's Digest Association
- Nicole Flatow becomes enterprise editor at Guardian U.S.
- Chris Connelly becomes interim editor in chief at Grantland
- Sean Lindsay rises to chief technology officer at Tapjoy
- Neil Janowitz becomes editorial director at Vulture.com
- John McCauley becomes VP of content and strategy at OneUp Sports
- Randy Jackson signs production deal with Endemol Shine North America
- Former head of King World Michael King dies at age 66
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