The season premiere of “The Walking Dead” was the biggest thing on cable by far for the week of Oct. 17-23 — and in one measure, the biggest thing on TV, period.

The show tops the combined broadcast and cable rankings among adults 18-49 by a wide margin: Its 8.4 rating in the demographic was 2.4 points ahead of “Sunday Night Football’s” 6.0. How big is that? The 2.4-point gap was the same as the No. 15 shows in the rankings (including, incidentally, a rerun of “The Walking Dead’s” Season 6 finale that aired right before the premiere).

“Sunday Night Football” finished No. 1 in viewers with 17.71 million, a little ahead of “The Walking Dead’s” 17.03 million. The AMC show will take over the top spot when DVR and on-demand viewing is counted, since live sports tend to add only a handful of viewers after the fact.

Top 25 broadcast and cable series (including ties) in adults 18-49 for Oct. 17-23, 2016

Rank Show Net Day Time 18-49 Rating 18-49 Viewers (000s)
1 THE WALKING DEAD – P AMC Sun. 9:00 PM 8.4 10,723
2 SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL – SEAHAWKS/CARDINALS NBC Sun. 8:31 PM 6.0 7,719
3 THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL – BEARS/PACKERS CBS Thurs. 8:27 PM 4.5 5,800
4 TALKING DEAD – P AMC Sun. 10:06 PM 3.7 4,698
5 THE BIG BANG THEORY CBS Mon. 8:00 PM 3.5 4,458
6 FOOTBALL NIGHT IN AMERICA PT 3 NBC Sun. 7:55 PM 3.1 3,940
7 MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL – JETS/CARDINALS ESPN Mon. 8:15 PM 3.0 3,840
60 MINUTES CBS Sun. 7:35 PM 3.0 3,832
9 PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE CNN Weds. 9:03 PM 2.7 3,473
THE VOICE NBC Mon. 8:00 PM 2.7 3,470
NLCS GM 6 – DODGERS/CUBS FS1 Sat. 8:00 PM 2.7 3,403
12 THIS IS US NBC Tues. 9:00 PM 2.6 3,382
13 THE VOICE NBC Tues. 8:00 PM 2.5 3,191
DEBATE ANALYSIS NBC Weds. 10:36 PM 2.5 3,178
15 THE WALKING DEAD/FEARFEST AMC Sun. 7:30 PM 2.4 3,100
PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE FNC Weds. 9:03 PM 2.4 3,025
17 DEBATE ANALYSIS ABC Weds. 10:37 PM 2.3 2,930
18 IT’S THE GREAT PUMPKIN, CHARLIE BROWN – S ABC Weds. 8:00 PM 2.2 2,851
19 GREY’S ANATOMY ABC Thurs. 8:00 PM 2.1 2,749
KEVIN CAN WAIT CBS Mon. 8:31 PM 2.1 2,640
21 TOY STORY OF TERROR! – S ABC Weds. 8:30 PM 2.0 2,545
NLCS GM 5 – DODGERS/CUBS FS1 Thurs. 8:00 PM 2.0 2,543
23 NLCS GM 3 – CUBS/DODGERS FS1 Tues. 8:01 PM 1.9 2,433
SURVIVOR CBS Weds. 8:00 PM 1.9 2,427
25 NLCS GM 4 – CUBS/DODGERS FS1 Weds. 8:01 PM 1.8 2,360
THURSDAY NIGHT KICKOFF CBS Thurs. 7:57 PM 1.8 2,359
DEBATE NIGHT IN AMERICA CNN Weds. 10:37 PM 1.8 2,357
SATURDAY NIGHT COLLEGE FB – OHIO ST/PENN ST ABC Sat. 8:06 PM 1.8 2,345
NCIS CBS Tues. 8:00 PM 1.8 2,313
FOOTBALL NIGHT IN AMERICA PT 2 NBC Sun. 7:30 PM 1.8 2,296
DEBATE ANALYSIS CBS Weds. 10:37 PM 1.8 2,281
DEBATE ANALYSIS FNC Weds. 10:37 PM 1.8 2,261

 

Top 25 broadcast and cable series in viewers for Oct. 17-23, 2016

Rank Show Net Day Time Viewers (000s)
1 SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL – SEAHAWKS/CARDINALS NBC Sun. 8:31 PM 17,707
2 THE WALKING DEAD – P AMC Sun. 9:00 PM 17,029
3 60 MINUTES CBS Sun. 7:35 PM 15,993
4 NCIS CBS Tues. 8:00 PM 14,766
5 THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL – BEARS/PACKERS CBS Thurs. 8:27 PM 14,202
6 THE BIG BANG THEORY CBS Mon. 8:00 PM 14,196
7 BULL CBS Tues. 9:00 PM 12,287
8 NCIS: LOS ANGELES CBS Sun. 8:35 PM 11,395
9 THE VOICE NBC Mon. 8:00 PM 11,384
10 PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE FNC Weds. 9:03 PM 11,380
11 DANCING WITH THE STARS ABC Mon. 8:00 PM 10,547
12 THE VOICE NBC Tues. 8:00 PM 10,535
13 BLUE BLOODS CBS Fri. 10:00 PM 10,033
14 NLCS GM 6 – DODGERS/CUBS FS1 Sat. 8:00 PM 9,706
15 THIS IS US NBC Tues. 9:00 PM 9,705
16 NCIS: NEW ORLEANS CBS Tues. 10:00 PM 9,532
17 HAWAII FIVE-0 CBS Fri. 9:00 PM 9,512
18 FOOTBALL NIGHT IN AMERICA PT 3 NBC Sun. 7:55 PM 9,150
19 MADAM SECRETARY CBS Sun. 9:35 PM 9,043
20 PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE CNN Weds. 9:03 PM 8,774
21 DEBATE ANALYSIS FNC Weds. 10:37 PM 8,660
22 SURVIVOR CBS Weds. 8:00 PM 8,587
23 KEVIN CAN WAIT CBS Mon. 8:31 PM 8,541
24 MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL – JETS/CARDINALS ESPN Mon. 8:15 PM 8,398
25 DEBATE ANALYSIS NBC Weds. 10:36 PM 8,298

All ratings are live + same-day. Source: The Nielsen Company.

Posted by:Rick Porter

Rick Porter has been covering TV since the days when networks sent screeners on VHS, one of which was a teaser for the first season of "American Idol." He's left-handed, makes a very solid grilled cheese and has been editor of TV by the Numbers since October 2015. He lives in Austin.

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