News

‘The Walking Dead’ premieres to 16M viewers

‘The Walking Dead’ premieres to 16M viewers

HIGH RATINGS: Cast members and producers of "The Walking Dead" take part in a panel discussion at AMC's TCA Winter Press Tour in Pasadena, California, Jan. 14 2012. Photo: Reuters/REUTERS/Jonathan Alcorn

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – AMC’s cult zombie horror series “The Walking Dead” drew its largest audience in the show’s history, 16.1 million viewers, for the season premiere on Sunday, the U.S. cable television network said on Monday.

According to Nielsen data provided by AMC, the hour-long season premiere was the top-rated show across all U.S. television programming on Sunday night in the 18-49 demographic, including NBC’s NFL “Sunday Night Football” game, which usually draws the largest viewership in the demographic.

Out of the 16.1 million viewers, 10.4 million were in the 18-49 age group most coveted by advertisers. The season three finale of “The Walking Dead” in March attracted a previous high of 12.4 million viewers, with 8.1 million in the 18-49 group.

“The Walking Dead” also went head-to-head against NBC’s primetime football game in much of the country, except for the West Coast. The football game between the Dallas Cowboys and Washington Redskins drew a total of 19.7 million viewers.

AMC said more than 5 million users discussed the season four premiere on Facebook and Twitter, and the episode generated more than 1.1 million tweets on Sunday.

“The Walking Dead,” based on a comic book series of the same name, follows a sheriff’s deputy as he tries to save survivors from flesh-eating zombies in a post-apocalyptic world.

AMC, owned by AMC Networks Inc., has been expanding its audience with stylized shows, such as period advertising drama “Mad Men” which drew a series high of 2.7 million in June this year, and the series finale of gritty drug drama “Breaking Bad,” watched by 10.3 million viewers last month.

Recent Headlines

7 hours ago in Entertainment

REVIEW: In-fighting is entertaining in ‘Captain America: Civil War’

13-overlay

"Civil War" stands out as certainly the biggest of the stand-alones, and among the best because of what it has in common with the better films in the Marvel universe: the conflict is deeply human, told humorously, and best enjoyed if you don't overthink it.

9 hours ago in Viral Videos

This ‘Game of Thrones’ inspired Mother’s Day gift is sure to be a hit

24-overlay-1

Still looking for a last minute gift for mom? Jimmy Kimmel has got you covered.

10 hours ago in Music

Roger Daltrey gets his own bubbly

rogerdaltrey386399512082

The Who frontman is releasing his own brand of champagne.

13 hours ago in Sports

Deflategate: Brady gets more time

tombrady276076991807

Lawyers for the New England Patriots quarterback have been given another two weeks to appeal his "Deflategate" suspension.

14 hours ago in Sports

Kentucky Bourbon Trail offers a lesson for reviving racing’s fans

derby16124571363511

Some of the best-known farms in Kentucky's scenic horse country are borrowing from another of the state's contributions to the good life — bourbon whiskey distilleries — in an effort to win new recruits to an aging and shrinking fan base.