Ratings: Walking Dead Returns With a Record-Smashing 16.1 Million Viewers

Walking Dead RatingsThe Walking Dead‘s Season 4 premiere had a record-high body count.

Sunday’s kickoff attracted a mind-blowing 16.1 million viewers — 10.4 million of which fell in the 18-49 demo, AMC confirmed Monday.

That easily eclipses the show’s previous high of 12.4 million viewers (8.1 in 18-49) for last spring’s Season 3 finale.

POLL | What Grade Do You Give The Walking Dead‘s Season 4 Premiere?

The show’s boffo debut — which outranked everything on broadcast and cable last night (save for NBC’s Sunday Night Football, which had a higher total viewer tally) — lifted The Talking Dead to its best numbers as well. The Chris Hardwick-hosted hour drew 5.1 million viewers, including 3.3 million 18-49ers.

PHOTO | Walking Dead Exclusive First Look: Check Out Michael Cudlitz as Sgt. Abraham Ford

“Sincere thanks to the fans, who have welcomed The Walking Dead back for its fourth season with the highest-rated episode in the show’s history,” said AMC President Charlie Collier in a statement. “We could not be more proud of this show and everyone on both sides of the camera who work so hard to give life to this story of character, leadership and survival.”

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  1. I for sure thought I read that number wrong. Wow. That’s great!

  2. Drew says:

    Good God!!! That’s awesome!!! Great premiere, so glad more people are watching THE WALKING DEAD!!!!!!

  3. Niejan says:


  4. Wrstlgirl says:

    Most excellent! Curious about the other cable shows too.

  5. Scott says:

    16.1 for cable? Those are practically NCIS numbers! If TWD was on network tv, it would be second only to football.

  6. j says:

    cue every network scrambling to find a zombie centered show, but all in all this is fantastic to hear!

    • Kristoffer says:

      I am surprised that there weren’t tons of Network rip off zombie shows in the new fall lineup this year. I am sure you are right in that they are ALL trying their best to find/create a Zombie show – which will NEVER compare.

  7. James D says:

    good lord that’s pretty impressive i wonder if this is show is popular :)

  8. azu says:

    Yay!!! Great numbers. I’ve been waiting all day to get these numbers

  9. Liz985 says:

    Awesome. It was a great episode and deserves the eyeballs it got. Take that stodgy, boring broadcast networks.

  10. Abby says:

    And here I thought they might have reached their limit. Wow. I’m as impressed by the numbers as I was by the episode itself. Cannot wait to watch the season play out!

  11. Wrstlgirl says:

    Especially funny after all those people who swore to never watch the show again after they killed off Andrea :-)

    • Ross Cooper says:

      All two of them?

      • wrstlgirl says:

        Your making a joke right? These boards were slammed with tons of fans whining and crying about “how dare they kill off Andrea”. About how they’ve strayed so far from the comics they’ve ruined the show killing off such an important character. The show will fail now, I’m not watching anymore, blah, blah, blah. It was the same with SOA fans when they killed of Opie. He apparently was the only reason to watch the show and now that he was gone they were “done”, DONE I tell you. It’s laughable because you know they are full of it. For me I did a happy dance when Andrea got bit. Worst character on the show.

    • I’ve heard people say the same with Dale, Shane, T-Dog and yes, even with Lori. People get pissed when their favorites die, but ultimately if the show is good, they always come back. I love Daryl and don’t want him to die, but that will be the true test. I’ve heard the word riot being thrown around if he dies.

      • wrstlgirl says:

        Exactly my point. As far as Daryl dying, I have all the faith in the world in these writers. I’m not worried in the least and to even think it could happen anytime soon is stupid.

  12. Dr. Jenner says:

    Remember: Carol liked him first.

    Seriously though, they have earned it: Congratulations The Walking Dead!

  13. Hugh says:

    HOLY OWNAGE. Lol, network has no excuse for it’s crappy declining numbers across the board any more. This just goes to show if you make a quality drama with the right elements people will flock to it.

    • Ross Cooper says:

      Sadly they can’t since they’re hamstrung by all the PTC-enforced legislation which limits their ability to innovate.

  14. Jared says:

    That’s just unbelievable?!?!

  15. rachelle says:

    That’s craaaaaaazy! I had to do a triple take. I’m elated!

  16. greysfan says:

    Holy crap! That is massive. It just keeps getting bigger and bigger.

  17. B says:

    Wow! That viewer total is approaching NCIS numbers, just substituting all the retirees and boomers with young, spendy people. Sadly, I bet the cast of TWD is paid a fraction of the NCIS group.

  18. ESLKid75 says:

    Running marathons of the entire series between seasons is a winning move. I watched the first two seasons like that and joined the viewer ranks for the 3rd season. Word of mouth works but only if people get a chance to watch it all from the beginning. Yeah, there are solutions to watch entire series (Netflix, Hulu, etc.) but it’s a bit more involved than setting your DVR for all episodes in a marathon and catching up at your pace before a new season starts.

    That and the promos during the final run of Breaking Bad means the numbers we see for last night.


    • Kristoffer says:

      I agree. Several people that I work with decided to start watching the marathon repeats and were instantly hooked. Even though they didn’t catch all the past episodes they watched the season premiere and loved it.

  19. Faster says:

    AMC, please stop giving Chris Hardwick jobs. Please. My big toe is worlds more entertaining than this guy.

    • Lisa Ray says:

      I like Chris hardwick. He does a good job with the talking dead. Just sayin.

    • Britta Unfiltered says:

      Hah. I’m with you on that. I strongly dislike this trend of the after show. It makes shows look self-important, and I can’t stand self-importance. It’s such a turn off. And you are right about fake nerd Chris Hardwick. No talent there. His voice makes me want to punch someone in the face.

  20. mandy says:

    Incredible, and well deserved. Nets take note: produce SOMETHING that’s different AND entertains. If you build it, they will come.

  21. Pat Combs says:

    I’m so proud to be one of the 16.1 million watching dead

  22. Shannon says:

    Loved the episode, but poor Phinneas!! ;-)
    Also, I love Talking Dead-Chris is a big geek for the show, and I love that about him. Plus, he gets the greatest guests!!

  23. Higb says:

    yet again netflix is pretty much solely responsible for this happening, and I’m sure they know it and are figuring out a way to make more and more money. good job walking dead, good job netflix.

  24. Ross Cooper says:

    See what happens when you keep the PTC out of programming… what is it their husbands are always saying about letting the free market speak. I feel sorry for Network TV.

  25. betty says:

    Great job Walking Dead keep it up.

  26. Bad Samaritan says:

    I’m curious how many watched at 9 o’clock and how many watched at 11? And will these numbers shift after boring baseball is finished and Family Guy has new shows?