Walking Dead Ratings Season 7

Ratings: Walking Dead Premiere Draws 17 Million, Just Shy of Series Record

Loathe him or hate him, Negan hit a home run on Sunday night.

The Walking Dead‘s Season 7 premiere drew 17 million total viewers and an 8.4 rating (or 10.7 million viewers) in the coveted 18-49 demo, just shy of the series records (17.3 mil/8.7) set by its Season 5 opener. (Pause for context: TWD had about as many viewers just in the 18-49 demo as broadcast TV’s most-watched Sunday drama had overall.)

The Walking Dead‘s eventful, brutal hour did mark, however, its highest-rated episode ever in the 25-54 demo, where it scored an 8.7.

Compared to the Season 6 premiere, “The Day Will Come When You Won’t Be” was up 16 percent in audience and 14 percent in the demo, and versus the April finale it returned up 20 and 22 percent.

TWD‘s return earned a grade of “A” from 49 percent of TVLine readers, while 23 percent gave the polarizing episode an “F.” A little more than 50 percent said the episode “went too far” in its graphic depiction of the two big deaths, with 36 percent claiming they are now done with the series.

The rain-soaked, 90-minute Talking Dead premiere in turn hit series highs in total audience (7.6 million) and in the 25-54 demo, while essentially matching its all-time best 18-49 delivery (landing 4.7 million in the demo). Versus its previous post-TWD premiere, it improved 34 percent in audience and 28 percent in 18-49.

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83 Comments
  1. Donna says:

    Totally agree with this. It just went too too far and Glenn’s death was unnecessary to move the storyline forward.

    • Erin says:

      Except Glenn’s death follows the comic that the show is based on…

    • TheloNaGrapso says:

      OK, stop watching then. Not like there is someone with a bat is in your house threatening you to watch. :)

      • TWD-lite says:

        That’s besides the point…the fact that people are expressing disgust over how those killings were carried out is valid, you telling them to stop watching is just douchey at best. I love the show & I’m going to keep watching it but that episode took it too far.

        • TheloNaGrapso says:

          What did they expect when a guy is carrying around a bat wrapped in barbed wire and has everyone on their knees? But I forget some of those people were actually crying over deaths on a made up TV show. Logic by default has to go out of the window after that.

      • John says:

        I just think it’s plain disturbing how the only thing some people seemed to revel in during this episode was the violence. Whatever about the plot or characters, so long as they’re getting their 45 long minutes of sick torture porn or whatever. This standard was really pushing it, I accept it’s a zombie show that’s violent and yadayadayada but you would want to be a bit unobservant to say the least to NOT notice that this went too far . TWD is supposed to be enjoyable but I don’t enjoy 45 minutes of THAT. And those of you who did for that reason alone, it makes me more than a little perturbed as to how you get your kicks to be honest. This was excessive, needless for that length of time and just plain sick.

    • wrstlgirl says:

      How exactly was Glenn’s death unnecessary to move the story line forward when you haven’t even seen what’s coming. Comic reader or not that’s a very weak argument.

      • John says:

        Let me rephrase, it was ‘needless’ to drag out such disgusting death scenes for so long. Why do we need to watch a whole episode of people getting butchered?! Sorry if that’s your fancy but Glenn’s death and the others, while perhaps necessary, was not executed appropriately at all. We get the message, it was brutal, you don’t need to use controversy as a way to reign in viewers. TWD isn’t the only one guilty of it but it is so unnecessary and just in bad taste.

    • Seun Fayiga says:

      With these ratings, TWD can go on till Season 12 and still be doing better than Broadcast TV. A show that outperforms football is no small show.
      While other higher quality shows are struggling with fractional ratings, struggling to stay on air, TWD just keeps moving on on its own

      • Jade Afterglow says:

        You’re absolutely right. You never hear any negative issues with TWD,their cast, crew, etc., concerning contracts or possible cancellation. Well… I haven’t. But I could be wrong. Like you said, they never seem to struggle.

        • Alex says:

          Except Fear the Walking Dead. A lot of people can’t understand why that’s still on air. I don’t see the spin off at least lasting much longer. Another season or even 2 if lucky and then gone. Good riddance anyway. Comparing the standard of TWD with that is unreal, I’m embarrassed for Fear and the minority who prefer it to TWD, just laughable really.

      • Carol_R says:

        I can see that ratings having a big drop after this episode.

      • Carmel says:

        Honestly though, I don’t think I would want this dragged on until season 12. I love TWD as is but bit by bit it has been losing a little bit of it’s sparkle along the way (although I accept this as it is the natural cycle of a show). But I fear it will start getting monotonous and stupid if thet keep milking it for all it’s worth, the worthless spin off and web series have kinda tainted the original as it is for me personally. I love TWD but I would rather see it go out on a high like GOT rather than being dragged out to the point where it weakens and I start to hate it. Let it have it’s glory now and examine it’s future later based on where it goes from there.

    • MelodyAZ says:

      The show is called The Walking Dead. Its NOT Little House on the Apocalypse. Glen was going to die. Seven knew of his character’s outcome in the comics. He knew it was coming years ago.
      AND IT WAS MENTIONED HERE MANY TIMES TOO. You should have believed the people who warned you

      • Squirrelly says:

        Little House on the Apocalypse? I believe that’s called the Fallout series of video games. :P

      • John says:

        You’re so patronising towards others. If people say they weren’t happy with elements of this episode, suck it up and accept it. Npt everybody has the same tastes or angle on something so snap outta that and don’t tell people how they should and shouldn’t react to something. By all means have an opinion but don’t force your opinion down other people’s throats. If you like that level of excessive violence and how those characters deaths were dealt out, great for you. But I sure would be unsure of people like you and how exactly you get your kicks to say that. Unsure indeed.

    • william says:

      As opposed to watching decaying people walking around and ripping people apart and eating them? Or watching the living people bashing, slashing, shooting, crushing, etc all the living dead? There is a disclaimer before the beginning of the show that this show is not for all people and there is violence. So you can’t say they didn’t warn you.

      • John says:

        Zombie gore and comic book violence is VERY different to what we witnessed on our screens the other night and you know it. Controversial isn’t even the word. They did overstep the mark and I don’t take back what I said, I found it disturbing that some people ‘enjoyed’ that level of violence which was too make it worse, dragged out for almost 45 minutes. But if you’re one of those people then I can see I’m wasting my time talking to you. Somebody said it was basically torture porn thos episode and you know what, it’s the most accurate description I’ve heard yet.

  2. andrew hass says:

    That’s great for the Walking Dead and The Talking Dead too.As for Glenn, i had a feeling that he would be the one to die because it sends the character of Maggie in a new direction.Plus even though Glenn is dead maybe Maggie has dreams about him or when the baby is born she envisions Glenn.

  3. Jack Steel says:

    It’s time to wrap up the show the real threat are the live ones. We get it! Have a mad scientist push the nukes button and reset planet earth. THE END!

  4. Ryan says:

    I don’t think it went to far, it shook everyone, and that was the point of negan, and the episode, to break them, and wake up the audience, I thought it was so well done, a very crazy episode, but of the best in a long time, anyone who complains should just turn it off.

  5. Mayra says:

    Yes, I agree I thought it was real gruesome, but if you read the comics it’s exactly the same. I thought it was really worth the wait and I will continue to watch TWD. The acting was amazing and it was really sad that Abraham and Glenn had to die, but that’s they way it is.

  6. Cas says:

    Here come the “I can’t believe it is so violent” people forgetting they are watching a show about zombies and basically the end of the world. Haha.

    • MelodyAZ says:

      It makes me wonder if they assume society will remain in the event of an apocalypse. IT WONT. There will be chaos and there will be bad people trying to take control. Its like people for get the title of the show.

      • Jane says:

        More like the producers forget the title of the show. These days TWD doesn’t seem to have nearly as much to do with zombies at all since the humans are now the villains. I’m not really feeling the title is as relevant as it was years ago anyway.

        • Drew says:

          I have to say somethkng because your point literally makes zero sense. Yes an opinion is an opinion but you are forgetting one thing. All these villians the Govenor, Terminus, Neagan its all pulled directly from the comics so go tell that to Robert Kirkman and see what he says

          • Jane says:

            Uh… actually YOUR comment makes zero sense. Those ‘villains’ you mentioned, you know, basically who the show has been centred on all this time, yeah NONE of those are zombies. My point is that these days it has more HUMAN drama and less ZOMBIE drama. That is why the title is lacking relevance more and more each season. I don’t know how I could make that clearer for you. I don’t have a problem with the villains, all I’m saying is that I do not think, especially in more recent seasons, that this show is adequately centred on zombies as the title suggests. I’m sure Kirkman doesn’t give two hoots about this technical error since he is likely still sitting in his jacuzzi right now and sipping cocktails. All I’m saying is that for the people who haven’t ever watched it and who rightly expect, based on the title of the show alone, that this is gonna be a zombie show, don’t expect that. It only lasts for a couple seasons and goes off into a primarily human tangent instead and sorely lacks zombie action.

  7. wrstlgirl says:

    Look I get that the episode might have been to much for some but reality check. Are you really upset about the violence or are you just p*ssed off that it happened to Glenn. I didn’t particularly care to see Dale get his guts ripped open or Carol shoot a living, breathing child in the back of the head. Neither of those were fun to watch. I don’t see very many people crying over Abraham, which is really sad because both characters brought so much to the show. Yes, the deaths were brutal but they were also very beautifully done. Abraham’s silent good-bye to Sasha was heartbreaking and Glenn stayed true to his love for Maggie to his very last breathe. The broken down Rick was excruciatingly painful to watch. They did their job, Negan is one ruthless, scary dude. Revenge will be the sweetest!!!!

    P.S. I still love you Jeffrey Dean Morgan, lmao!!!

    • KLS says:

      I agree. We knew Glenn was going to die. If there were going to be 2 deaths, then most people guessed it would be Abraham. The demoralization of Rick was the most painful and squeamish part for me.
      .
      I wonder how many Negan’s we’ll see this Halloween? Really scary dude!

      • wrstlgirl says:

        I’m working WSC Atlanta this weekend and I cant’ wait to see all the Negan cosplay. I’m betting there’s a few Glenn/Abraham with bashed in heads too. People are crazy, lmao!!

    • Michelle says:

      I am crying for Abraham loved him especially his one liners really upset we lost him. I was prepared for Glenn to go ever since the dumpster was it brutal yeah but I expected it. And Jeffrey Dean Mogan wow amazing job

  8. Pete Carroll says:

    If Maggie is to become Carolish and take out Negan while leading the group, it was the polarizing moment it needed to be. Yeah I didn’t like an hour long grisley emotional debasement, it was the chance the producers took.

  9. Jane says:

    Last night several people were burned to death on Super girl. I don’t hear any outrage over that happening. It never ceases to amaze me how people can get so upset over a horrible death on one show and ignore all of the others that happen every night on TV.

    • Luli says:

      You cant compare this show with Supergirl! Supergirl is pure joy to watch, and not that violent.

    • Shaun says:

      Those agents were hit with glowing clouds and died,nobodys eyes popped out.

    • Alice says:

      Not true, Lexa’s death in the 100 caused nearly a social media meltdown afterwards as it was controversial and upsetting. It happened in March but I’m still very much not over it, that scene also made me cry as it was terribly depressing to watch.

  10. Nan says:

    Of course the ratings were high they kept everyone hanging on for months…it really wasn’t that great of an episode at least for me….looking forward to Maggie stepping up though

  11. KLS says:

    This now validates the use of cliff-hangers, unfortunately.

    • Derision says:

      The use of cliffhangers was validated 30+ years ago on a show called Dallas. Its common practice to have a cliffhanger and only the young low attention span brats think otherwise.

      • KLS says:

        Speak for yourself. I was around for “Who Shot J.R.” Didn’t like it then. Thought that most TV had grown past it now. Just a gimmick for low rated shows to get viewers for the next season. TWD didn’t need to do it, but unfortunately, watch every scripted show have one now.

        • wrstlgirl says:

          I guess you could call it a gimmick but most shows do have cliffhangers and have had them for years. TWD season 6 wasn’t the first for them either.

    • TheloNaGrapso says:

      Because if we had seen him strike Abraham and him saying suck my nuts, we wouldn’t have come back to watch what happened after that. Riiiight…

  12. Arlene says:

    Of course the premiere broke records, but how many will watch next week? I may not. I was sickened. It was a gorefest made for Halloween, not worthy of previous seasons of this show.

  13. Spence says:

    I was hugely impressed with the episode and am glad to see the ratings reflect that. Hopefully the rest of the season will keep that momentum and not slip up like seasons 5 and 6.

  14. kfunde says:

    I watch this with my 16 year old son, we have watched since the first episode. The problem is the type of violence on S7 premiere was much different. Hershel getting is throat slashed or the throat slicing during the season 5 premiere was close but this was a whole different level. The MA is almost always used in this show. As a parent I had no way of knowing they changed to the “war porn” type of violence until it was too late. AMC should be heavily fined for this. It was uncomfortable to watch, not knowing how to react with my son. There must be a way of driving home the point without this level of gruesome violence. It was disturbing.

    • Jane says:

      Of course there is. But TWD is succumbing to what so many shows are doing, trying to gain viewers by stepping up the controversy like GOT, Poldark and the 100 to name a couple. There is absolutely no need and in my opinion, it actually comes across as a bit of a cop out to just put the emphasis on the violence so that those sicko gore lovers can get their fix. There is something seriously off with producers and writers of shows like this though. In the long run, I do not believe that this is a guaranteed way of attracting viewers and therefore, it’s unsurprising that it is repelling others. AMC is on a fine line here for sure.

    • Drew says:

      Thats your personal choice to let your 16 year old son watch it. In my opinion a 16 year old should not be watching this show because they have gone here before. Did we all forget Terminus? They literally had people lined up over a trough and slit their throats. How about when Carol had to shoot the little girl and tell her to look at the flowers. Or the wolves who killed for no reason and set up traps. Neagan at least does have motivation because Rick did kill his men. If your fimillar with the comics too they are a bog sign this show is not for kids. Neagan is the worst villian we come across. He curses like crazy weilds a bat and yes he is crazy. This is how he gets what he wants he knows how to scare people and make them fall in line. Me I loved Glenn he is an amazing guy and shares a lot of qualities I have but that death was important to the story line and they had to do it in a way that destroyed all hope as Neagan is the worst villian we ever came across much worse than the Govenor or Terminus

      • Andrea says:

        Well, originally TWD was based more on zombie gore and comic book violence which although yes, still sick and gross, also is more unrealistic as it is based on fiction. However, it has stepped up the violence by a mile since the early days and how it did that was by making it more real and believable, like you can’t shoot a zombie in real life but you do hear of horror stories of such violent deaths conducted by humans in the real world. In that sense, TWD has crossed the line of fiction and is encroaching on reality, a concept which is deeply disturbing and quite upsetting for many people. These people are being slammed but I feel they should be respected and left alone because you just don’t know what others experiences are. If they can’t watch it anymore, that’s nothing to be bitter over, this right now is dealing in reality. You are right though, at this stage I really would have concerns of even a 16 year old watching this.

  15. KayCeeCee says:

    Is this now the highest rated show for the season? Is it beating out football?

  16. Diane says:

    You lost me! Some people enjoy gratuitous violence, I’m not one of them. The script didn’t follow the comics in so many ways from what I’ve been told. Plenty of adventures to have, plenty of walking dead to deal with. Buh bye!

    • Chris Walker says:

      The show only LIGHTLY follows the comic, there are metric shit ton of changes between the two… for example, Rick should only have 1 hand, Daryl, Beth, Noah, T-Dog, Sasha AND AND Judith should exist, Andrea is not dead, she is awesome, and in fact is Ricks main squeeze. Carols daughter is alive, and lastly Terminus never happens.

  17. Nancy Miller says:

    I’ve been a fan since day 1 but I’ve been more depressed with season 5 & 6 and 7 looks to continue this trend. I used to like it because it showed the group trying to survive and find sanctuary. Not being brutalized by the rapid dogs who have taken over. I didn’t sign on to watch torture porn with no chance of the villian getting his comeuppence. Negan doesn’t get payback and I don’t think its about surviving anymore – its just giving a sociopath center stage for seasons worth.

  18. wrstlgirl says:

    Torture porn is the new Epic, lmao!!!

  19. M3rc_Nate says:

    Am I the only one that thinks this is actually negative news? Don’t get me wrong, that’s a ton of viewers and I’m sure they are happy. But this reminds me of Batman v Superman not hitting the $1B mark at the box office. Yes $870M is a success but it should have made more. A movie with Supes and Bats should crack $1B easy.
    .
    In the same way, this season premier, arguably the shows “Red Wedding” in which we already saw the setup and were left on a cliff-hanger…this episode above all else should have been a ratings smash and broken their viewership record. But it didn’t. This tells me the show has likely peaked in terms of viewership numbers. It’s still growing if this episode gets 18 or 19 million viewers but to get less than they have before? Not a good sign.
    .
    Add to that how they have botched and lost viewers for a multitude of reasons (bad writing, Glenn under the dumpster, using a cliff hanger for Negan’s murders, repetitive plots, a show that just gets darker and darker when people want light & fun, etc).

    • wrstlgirl says:

      The Walking Dead and light and fun don’t even belong together on the same planet :-)

    • Miranda says:

      Network television rarely comes anywhere close to an 8.4 rating and 17 million viewers is hardly negative news.

      • M3rc_Nate says:

        You didn’t get it, but that’s okay. Let me break it down: No matter how great you are doing, when you are constantly growing (your revenue or viewership) that is great. That means something, it means you having peaked, you haven’t plateaued, and you aren’t declining/losing viewers.
        .
        Well, this premier should have been an all time high. This premier was TWD’s Red Wedding. This was Negan and him killing main characters. If any premier was going to draw the biggest audience of all time it would be this one. But it didn’t, viewership is down. That is bad. That means the show has likely peaked, it isn’t going to get higher, and the only place to go is flat or down.

        • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

          I think you are laboring to make a shaky argument, to the point I worry you will pull a hamstring or something. It was off 2%-3% from its record, and likely will come out on top once Live+3 DVR-to-Live+3 DVR numbers are compared. Plus, a massively genre show peaking in its SEVENTH season? Simply deplorable.

        • Amere Garsun says:

          yeah most shows at season seven have bad ratings or ready to wrap up doing this seven seasons in is amazing

  20. Carol_R says:

    I stopped watching toward the end of last season. The storyline is awful and boring. I don’t see myself watching this season. I have no interest in Negan.

  21. JQ Majors says:

    Too Far? No. That is the entire point of Negan, he is over the top. We are after all, talking about a show that is set in the ‘whatever end of the world’ scenario you would like to imagine and guess what…horrible things happen. So you want the story to have realism, you just don’t want to see it? I know many would like the story to continuously be about how many apples or acorns they have gathered to make another pie or more cookies… yum. Or who will get married or is sleeping with who else, but guess what, people descend into madness, and it’s not pretty. If something were to happen to bring us into that ‘whatever end of the world’ scenario you might imagine, it will be far worse than this and a whole lot better than watching it on a tv show! Cowboy and Cowgirl up.

  22. Maria says:

    It went too far for me. I will no longer watch. As adults, we understand that this is not real, but millions of viewers are children and teenagers. That scares me. To quote a close family member who said, “This scene may give children the idea that it’s ok too be a big bully” because after all its a number one TV show! I think S7E2 will see a lot less viewers and I hope that it’s significant enough for the producers to tone it down a bit. That type of sadistic gore does not give the show any credibility and deep down inside ourselves we all know that!

    • wrstlgirl says:

      Everyone’s entitled to give their thoughts and opinion but you don’t speak for me. Saying “we all know that” is a misconception.

  23. Rosemarie says:

    Suck my nuts!!!!!!

  24. wsucram15 says:

    Glenn’s death and perhaps even Abrahams were needed to move things forward and I accept that. But there was no reason to spend 54 minutes, 10 minutes or so was Neagan beating a persons head in not once but twice, then shoving the bloody bat onto Rositas face. Then he beat the heads again. “Lucille is a vampire bat..”, what, who wrote that? This show has gone from one of the most well written shows on television to nothing more than a series of illusions , CGI and violence. But it will make money for AMC and TWD.
    yes I can turn the channel, so I record it and if I dont like what people are saying about a specific episode..I can delete the show. Its not like much will change, zombies, another character death and increasing violence.
    It is an outstanding comic of which I truly appreciate, I own most of them. But I dont agree with kids watching this type of thing and even on Talking Dead, kids call in. Some parents just arent discriminatory enough about programming.
    This show should be on at a later time with this type of violence. This isnt snuff..but the people that liked or enjoyed this on air, probably do enjoy that. It is very close.