Official ratings numbers have been released for The Walking Dead’s premiere and unsurprisingly, it put the beat down on everything else on TV.
The season-opener, which aired Sunday night, was watched by 17 million viewers and also had a remarkable 8.4 rating among adults 18-49. As Entertainment Weekly notes, that’s even better than NBC’s Sunday Night Football and absolutely trounces the next closest scripted shows over the last few weeks, with CBS’ The Big Bang Theory and Fox’s Empire only receiving a 3.5 rating each.
In terms of beating its own records, The Walking Dead came close. Negan and his bat fell just short of the Season 5 premiere, which still stands as the show’s highest-rated episode ever with 17.3 million viewers and an 8.8 rating. However, AMC expects that the Season 7 opener, “The Day Will Come When You Won’t Be,” could set a new record once other forms of viewing, such as DVR and streaming, are accounted for.
While the viewership numbers are impressive, the most interesting stat is that the latest episode had 22% more viewers than the Season 6 finale, which was heavily criticized for its cliffhanger ending. It looks like AMC’s little stunt paid off, as fans were lured back in droves to find out who Negan’s victim would be.
With the cliffhanger resolved, it will be interesting to see how this new season of The Walking Dead fares on a week-to-week basis in terms of ratings. Next week’s episode, “The Well,” will almost certainly experience a significant drop-off, but by how much remains to be seen.
(Via: Entertainment Weekly)