It shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise, but AMC’s “The Walking Dead” seventh season is already off to an amazing start. The series returned last Sunday night for a seventh season, finally answering the mystery of who would be killed after the season 6 cliffhanger.
With the successful premiere, the show took its spot as the number-one show on television for a fifth consecutive season, growing from the season six premiere and finale in total viewers and key demographics.
The premiere also did wonders for the after-show, which has consistently grown in parallel with “The Walking Dead”. An expanded 90-minute episode of “Talking Dead,” presented live from the Hollywood Forever Cemetery in front of 2,500 fans, became the highest-rated “Talking Dead” ever among adults 25-54 and second highest in total viewers and adults 18-49.
In Nielsen live+3 ratings, “The Walking Dead” season-seven premiere delivered 20.8 million total viewers, which is a growth of 7 percent in total viewers from the season six premiere. From the season six finale, the premiere grew 13 percent in total viewers, and 14 percent in adults 18-49. The ratings also show an increase by 11 percent in adults 25-54.
While looking at the same live+3 ratings, the Chris Hardwick hosted after-show “Talking Dead” became the #2 show on cable television. The fan-orientated series follows every episode of the “Walking Dead,” and has quickly become a favorite installment for fans to watch after each episode.
The “Talking Dead” delivered 8.7 million total viewers last Sunday night, with 5.4 million adults 18-49 and 5.5 million adults 25-54. That’s up 35 percent, 29 percent and 38 percent, respectively, from the “Talking Dead” season six premiere.
“When millions of fans come together at almost exactly the same time to share a story – a story elevated, that viewers anticipate and have time to let sink in and discuss, moments we collectively feel – it’s as good as television gets and a reminder of the power of weekly storytelling,” said Charlie Collier, president of AMC, SundanceTV and AMC Studios. “This week, ‘The Walking Dead’ once again provided that for all of us. Rest in peace, Glenn and Abraham. You will never be forgotten.”
In addition to the linear viewing, “The Walking Dead” premiere saw record viewership on digital platforms, generating nearly 2.5 million views through this morning.