'The Walking Dead' Season 4 Premiere is Highest Rated Episode Ever With 16.1 Million Viewers & 10.4 Million Adults 18-49

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October 14th, 2013

The Walking Dead Season 4 Premiere

The 10.4 million adults 18-49 viewers should translate to a huge 8.2 adults 18-49 rating, assuming there are no further adjustments. Your predictions  were accurate, though we were obviously not optimistic enough with our poll choices!

via press release:











New York, NY – October 14, 2013 – AMC’s The Walking Dead returned last night for its fourth season, delivering the highest ratings of any episode in series history. The season four premiere was watched by 16.1 million total viewers and 10.4 million adults aged 18-49. Last night’s ratings confirm The Walking Dead continues to be the #1 show on all of television among the coveted 18-49 demographic. 2013/14 season to date, last night’s premiere ranks as the #1 telecast in adults 18-49, outperforming all programs including primetime NFL football. With time-shifted playback, last night’s premiere should exceed 20 million viewers.


“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. “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. It starts with series creator, writer and executive producer Robert Kirkman, show runner and executive producer Scott Gimple and the director of last night’s episode (and the man behind the make-up) executive producer Greg Nicotero, their fellow executive producers and an extraordinary cast and crew who are giving their all every day. So clearly, thanks to them, the dead have never been more alive.”


The previous record for an episode of The Walking Dead was 12.4 million total viewers and 8.1 million viewers 18-49 for the season three finale.


Following the 9 pm premiere of The Walking Dead, AMC premiered the third season of Talking Dead at 10 pm, it became the most viewed premiere in series history with 5.1 million viewers, including 3.3 million adults aged 18-49. Hosted by Chris Hardwick, Talking Dead features Hardwick and fans, actors, producers and other TV enthusiasts, discussing and dissecting that night’s Dead premiere. The premiere episode featured guests including executive producer and showrunner Scott Gimple and Nathan Fillion of Castle.


Key Nielsen Highlights for the season four premiere of The Walking Dead


  • 9 pm airing – 8.1 HH rating with 16.1 million viewers
  • 9 pm airing – 8.2 HH rating with 10.4 million Adults 18-49
  • 9 pm airing – 7.3 HH rating with 8.8 million Adults 25-54


Key Nielsen Highlights for the season three premiere of Talking Dead


  • 10 pm airing – 2.7 HH rating with 5.1 million viewers
  • 10 pm airing – 2.6 HH rating with 3.3 million Adults 18-49
  • 10 pm airing – 2.5 HH rating with 3.0 million Adults 25-54


Source: Nielsen Media Research fast nationals (US ratings), L+SD 10/13/13, broadcast season 9/23/13 – current.


The return of The Walking Dead dominated TV-related social media activity. In the opening minute of the East coast premiere, viewers posted 39,994 Tweets about the show, representing 88% of all television-related Tweets. The premiere telecast garnered a total of 1,171,994 Tweets from 570,148 unique authors. The Walking Dead was also the #1 program for the day in TV-related social media activity, including the premiere and seven previous episodes that ran during a catch-up marathon on AMC, with the most unique authors. On Facebook, more than 5 million users had more than 9.3 million interactions related to The Walking Dead premiere. Twitter data from SocialGuide, Facebook data from Facebook.


About AMC

Whether commemorating favorite films from every genre and decade or creating acclaimed original programming, AMC brings to its audience something deeper, something richer, Something More. The network reigns as the only cable network in history ever to win the Emmy® Award for Outstanding Drama Series four years in a row, five out of the last six years, and boasts the most-watched drama series in basic cable history with The Walking Dead. AMC’s original drama series include Mad Men, Breaking Bad, Hell on Wheels and Low Winter Sun.  The network recent greenlit two new drama series, working titles Halt & Catch Fire and Turn, both of which will be premiering in 2014. AMC also explores authentic worlds with bold characters through its slate of unscripted original series like Comic Book Men, Small Town Security, Talking Dead, Talking Bad and Freakshow. AMC is owned and operated by AMC Networks Inc. and its sister networks include IFC, Sundance Channel, and WE tv. AMC is available across all platforms, including on-air, online, on demand and mobile. AMC: Something More.

  • Claudia

    In perspective, US has 300 million inhabitants. Less than 1% of that population watched a zombie show. It ain’t too shabby…

  • Tony JJ

    WOW. I guessed a 7.2 and 15 million viewers and I said I’m always shocked at TWD’s numbers. And today was no different! Wow! Way to go! I mean dramas haven’t seen these types of numbers since Desperate Housewives and Greys Anatomy again on Sunday nights! Wow! Just shows what Netflix, buzz, and constant ANC marathons can do. I hope we can see a 10.0 rating just so you can say dramas can still hit those numbers

  • John A

    Why does someone have the same username as me and gravatar?

  • mantua

    16.1 million viewers and an 8.3 in 18/49 ? I think it is officially time to give Revenge a break…that 1.7, rounded up to 3something with the DVR will look perfectly decent considering its time slot competition…

  • Percy

    The walking dead premiere was amazing!!! I can’t believe those numbers!!!

  • uofmguy423

    Wasn’t Desperate Housewives pulling numbers like that in season 2 and 3? How far the broadcast nets have fallen.

  • Sam

    lol, that’s ridiculous, this show is the most rated show in america except for the super bowl… Yesterday’s episode was sooooooooooo gory. Take that reality shows!

    Glad it keeps doing great. Can’t to see what the TWD spin off will do in the ratings.

    Just hope the budget for the show will increase accordingly.

  • Shepherd

    up ~30% in viewers and ~28% in the demo from the finale. Almost hard to believe.

    So much for lack of “hype” affecting the ratings! lol

  • zth

    Haha, people here predicted it will drop.

    This rating is HUGE. It is bigger then th post-Superbowl rating for Elementary last year. It just destroyed Revenge.

    I’m sure it will hit double digits in the season finale.

  • Melissa

    I was mistaken before, it’s the highest rated regularly-scheduled drama episode since House’s 9.0 on 2/5/08!

  • Reprise

    @John A
    @Why does someone have the same username as me and gravatar?

    Probably that Max guy judging from his Revenge comment. He’s probably the only person on here who would go onto a Walking Dead topic and find some way to twist it into a way to hate on Revenge.

  • somebody85

    Wow…I guessed it would be in the mid 6s. That is incredible.

    I did not find last nights episode boring at all. It felt like hitting the reset button with a few hints at past developments. The whole world feels more alive, the budget looks increased and the dialogue has improved. I think it started off extremely strong under Gimple and hope it stays that way throughout the season. When it ended I was already ready for next week with that cliffhanger. Can’t say that for many other shows on TV nowadays. Loving it!

  • Roy

    @Tphxitachi: BatB airs Sundays in Canada. Castle also airs on Sundays in Canada, so you can find that 1 day earlier online as well. In fact, there are several shows that air 1 day earlier in Canada.

  • Mack

    Of course. People love this genre so much. They can easily milk this thing for 5+ more seasons and people will tune in, regardless of the storyline. They could have episodes centered around the characters sleeping and as long as one zombie is killed, it will break ratings records!

  • Josh

    Wow! Last night’s episode was good but not great — but that was by design. The season is going to pick up and FAST next episode. Can’t wait! Will be watching.

  • Luke21

    Can everyone shut their mouth about scandal being bigger than revenge? revenge had 20 millions more competition from nbc, the same competition in viwers from cbs, extra competition from fox wich scandal doesn’t have and 16 millions from the walking dead. Revenge is doing great and also beat tgw

  • Samunto

    I just got dizzy and dropped my jaw to the floor seeing those numbers! Excuse me while i pick my jaw from the floor….

    Jaw is back in place.

    How awesome! S till rubbing my eyes….. Now Revenge & TGW fans have a fan excuse bingo! (am a fan of both shows but i won’t go there).

  • Mon

    WOW. Andrew Lincoln should ask for a raise. Does anyone know how much is he earning per episode?

  • gerry

    holy CRAP!

  • nicewolf64

    it was brilliant to spend the entire week showing all of the eps all the way back to season 1. any one wanting to jump aboard the zombie train could spend the week and get up to speed.

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