The Walking Dead Ratings

Ratings: Walking Dead Scares Up Least Watched Premiere in 3 Years

AMC’s The Walking Dead on Sunday returned to 14.6 million total viewers, down 16 percent from last year’s premiere and marking the well-watched drama’s least watched opener since Season 3 (which drew 10.9 mil).

In the coveted 18-49 demo, TWD scored a 7.3 rating (or 9.4 million viewers), also down 16 percent year-over-year.

Versus its Season 5 finale, the episode was down 8 and 11 percent.

That said, The Walking Dead‘s Season 6 premiere matched last year’s weekly average of 14.4 mil/7.4.

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36 Comments
  1. zac says:

    I guess people really are DVRing or going to the online platforms rather than watching TV. Almost every show’s down from year ago numbers

    • Mike M says:

      True almost all shows are down in year to year stats. TWD could have done without having been tarnished by the rubbish companion that totally failed to deliver . There were certainly people in forums making “I fear The Walking Dead… will be rubbish this season” half jokes. Over-milking the cow can have definite side affects AMC: when many have a sour taste in their mouth you risk them getting a different drink, even before you bring back the fresh golden cow.

    • Mike M says:

      The biggest issue with the episode itself was that the mission was clear from the start and was obviously going to take a long time. And with added meandering (if well intentioned and insightful) flashbacks, there was going to be no real action before the end… so you knew even subconsciously from near the start that Daryl was gonna have his ass sat on that bike going 2 mph for an hour… which in turn made the episode travel at the same speed.

  2. Walkie says:

    Maybe they will spend an episode explaining what the heck the story is with Carl’s bizarre hair style.

    They are doing that kid no favors.

  3. The show takes to long to come back on the air. It gets to the point that u loose interest.

    • Mike says:

      Not at all. It’s actually shorter than most shows haha. It’s because of the mid season break its only like 6 months between seasons. Game of thrones and whatnot would be like almost a year.

  4. Whatevah says:

    I’m shocked by this. I loved this episode. I do wait 20 minutes in to watch my DVR because there are so many commercials. Maybe that’s the problem.

  5. abz says:

    I found the premiere to be very boring and unnecessarily long. That entire episode could have been accomplished in the standard 42 minutes. Wasn’t a fan of the use of the black and white either.

  6. Matt C. says:

    I personally loved the premiere, but I think the show hit a ratings peak with last year’s premiere. I’m pretty sure everybody who is remotely interested in this show is already tuning in.

  7. Kevin says:

    I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if the black and white was a deterrent. It seemed like it was used mostly for budget reasons (easier to CG black and white hordes of that size) rather than a stylistic choice (especially since most of the scenes were in color for promos and trailers.

    • Don Spears says:

      It’s more expensive to shoot in black & white, actually.

      • Kevin says:

        That’s true, but from trailers it looks like it was turned to black and white in post production. A lot of premiere shots were in color in the trailers.

    • The black and white was only for the flashbacks. There were plenty of CGI hordes in color. The director of the episode, Greg Nicotero, discussed the choice on The Talking Dead. It was done to differentiate the flashbacks from present-day scenes to avoid confusion. It’s not the first time a movie or TV show used this technique.

      No one turned off the show because some of the scenes were in black and white. The target demographic was more likely watching baseball playoffs live and will catchup with the show on their DVRs.

  8. Matt says:

    For me personally, I wasn’t nearly as excited for TWD to start this year due to (IMO) a weaker 5th season and watching six weeks of Fear the Walking Dead right before the new season started. I’m not saying it wasn’t a wise decision to produce a companion series, but it takes away the novelty and anticipation for the original series a bit.

    That said, the premiere episode was pretty stellar. Back to form….

    • KnolaSphere says:

      I thought the same thing about the companion series talking some of the anticipation from the season six premiere. But really, this show has numbers that network TV wished some of their programs had.

      At first, I was mixed about the black and white. For the record, I’m not opposed to the use of black and white. Once I realized that it was more for timeline coherence, I adjusted to it. If you didn’t watch the Talking Dead or read any of the interviews with Nicotero, then you should know that was basically the reason they changed it in post production. There was concern that viewers would not be able to follow the shift back and forth.

    • Kristen says:

      I was actually more excited for TWD because of the companion series. I was only slightly disappointed when I realized that they both weren’t airing that same night. I think that’s why I was so excited b/c I thought I was going to get 2 full hours of walkers! Lol

      As for the premiere, I enjoyed it given this seems like an intense battle for Alexandria, especially considering no one in that town seems to know how to defend themselves. Doubtful that the town has enough ammo to kill all of the walkers headed their way, and not only that, the few that can fight are going to have to defend and protect themselves and everyone in that town. They are entirely out numbered, and I wanna know who sounded that horn. I’m thinking it’s either crazy man preacher, or the guys marking the walkers foreheads with a “W”. Although, how would they know that they were leading the walkers away, unless they had spies in the woods or…. OR what if there is a mole inside Alexandria leaking information to them.

      Okay, now I’m going way off base. Lol

  9. Brigid says:

    I don’t get it. That episode was awesome! The canyon was so scary, I was wondering why there weren’t a lot of walkers that came by Alexandria and now we know. I loved how Morgan was trying to keep Rick grounded like he did for him. So looking forward to next weeks episode!

    • cher says:

      you give a very good comment compare to others.. you are so right.

      although the best premier for me aside of season 1 is season 5.. sooo intense…
      but… first episode this season shows intense future… cant wait to see the 2nd episode..

    • Kristen says:

      I 100% agree! I thought this premiere was by far one of my favorite… probably not THE best one, but definitely up there. The canyon of walkers was so intense, not really because it was an immediate danger to them, but the impending doom that it represented was crazy intense. Major WTF moment. Then seeing how far off everyone in the town of Alexandria actually is at protecting themselves… stress level through the roof! It’s basically going to be left up to Rick’s group alone to defend and protect the entire town of Alexandria. Where’s Carl, b/c they are gonna need his little bada** too. I love that Morgan and Rick are back to the pair that met in Season 1. I feel that friendship is going to one of my favorites, and I feel Morgan will be able to keep Rick centered even more than Michonne or Daryl could. Morgan reminds Rick of where it all started and who he was then. Definitely looking forward to seeing the bond these two will build.

  10. SeanC says:

    Not surprising, the second of half of the last season was pretty boring and the finale wasn’t anything special. And while the second half the 4th season was terrible, it was leading up to the terminus storyline which kept people interested. The season 6 premiere itself wasn’t amazing, but it’s got me excited for the next few episodes so maybe the ratings will climb.

  11. Julia says:

    I agree with the points about FTWD…I didn’t have the usual anticipation for the premiere because of the companion series. I absolutely loved the episode, but wonder if that led to less enthusiasm than usual. I have no doubt that the ratings will stay strong going forward.

  12. Sarah_ says:

    People talk like this ratting’s aren’t amazing already! The other shows wish they could get ratings like this..
    For me season 6 premiere was very different than normal but it ended with a great ending and it got me definitely excited for the rest of the season.

  13. Simon says:

    It still beat Football that same night to be the highest rated show of the night.

  14. Relaxx says:

    I’m not surprised! Lackluster finale, The Anderson drama, Rick chasing after a married woman, side lining fan favorites like Michonne and Maggie while pushing Carol forward. Myself included didn’t live watch and it had nothing to do with the black and white. Too much ambiguous writing that leads to fandom fighting.

    Certain off screen antics like Alexandria Breckenridge (Jessie) busting out Ebonics on Twitter after 9 black people got killed in a church with her infamous “people be cray yo” tweet upset many. It’s no publicity the show needs after continually being called racist for brutally killing off MOC characters. Then people started complaining about FTWD doing the same thing. It doesn’t help that AB links fandom sites like Std and ranting because they have character hate/love threads. AB ranting on Twitter about people hating her character because of the writers and complaining anytime people complain about Jessie. You can’t censor fandom’s. People hate on Carl and Judith. Sadly actors like BS got death treats playing Lizzie. TWD fandom is insanely vocal and certain things don’t sit right with certain people on Tumblr and Twitter js! Sometimes it’s best to stay classy like the rest of the cast. I’m sure tptb are fully aware though!

    Hopefully the ratings pick up but going by previous years they will fall then stabilize.

  15. Rob G. says:

    understandably lower premier ratings seeing as S5 was the worst season to date. I and my group of friends have been fans of the show since Episode 1. But we found that during 5A the Beth centric episodes were unwatchable. 5B was a little bit better.

    gave 6 a chance and i am glad that I did. The B&W was excellently used and I am looking forward to the show actually having zombies be the main threat. Now the hard part of convincing my friends that they should watch the new episode even though season 5 as a whole was well below average

    • Relaxx says:

      Yes thank you! A lot of people were put off by certain parts of season 5. You can tell by the rollercoaster ratings. It’s hard to get people to start rewatching again. A lot of people I know stopped watching and didn’t see the whole season through. Nowadays viewers are really picky as far as what they live watch. It’s like every episode has to be spectacular so every show must bring their A game and strongest characters always. There’s minimum room for error and the show isn’t getting any younger.

    • Kristen says:

      I feel like the show has come full circle and is going to produce a season more like the first. Season 5 definitely wasn’t it’s finest. It was scattered and there were too many things going on. Beth, the hospital, Terminus, trying to get Eugene to D.C., Gabriel (I say that with MUCH disgust), etc. It was all over the place, and seemed to jump around far too much leaving little focus on one storyline. Also, yes, they did backseat a few fan favorites to build the storyline of supporting characters. I personally wasn’t that upset, b/c it made me enjoy the show even more now that I like more than just one or two characters on the show. I’m a bit more open minded than most though I suppose. Lol
      I feel like this season is getting back to the basics, and showing that even though they all have their own issues within the community, the main threat is and will always be the zombies, and they are doing that in an extreme fashion. What better way to bring viewers back to square one and remind them of the fear that Season 1 delivered than with a canyon full of a thousand or so walkers. At least they cut the threat in half… can’t wait for Sunday! :)

  16. Jake says:

    That’s what happens when you push the likes of Carol, Beth and Sasha over Rick Grimes. Key comic book characters like Maggie, Michonne, Carl and Glenn shouldn’t be put on ice for secondary characters.

  17. Don Cline says:

    The seen where the bikers blew up was unbeleive,I was speechless.

    • Burp says:

      Yeah, wait until Negan bashes Glenn’s brains in with a baseball bat in the season finale for blowing up those bikers.

      There are people who haven’t seen the SCENE you are talking about get, sucks when you get spoilers, right?

  18. Candace says:

    Way to many commercials! I can understand the first few seasons of the Walking Dead, but not now. This show should not have to pay the bills for all of AMC.

  19. Eric C says:

    Cut down on commercials and I will watch sone more…this sucks