I have surprisingly liked The Walking Dead.  It’s surprising not because I didn’t think it would be any good, but rather Zombies and “mmmm  horse guts!” style gore aren’t really my thing.

The ratings have surprised me even more.  I never doubted The Walking Dead would be AMC’s top-rated show and outpace Mad Men and Breaking Bad (and certainly the pitifully rated and now canceled Rubicon).  But in the current week’s cable 18-49 rankings, it beat the return of Burn Notice by a full adults 18-49 ratings point (2.5 vs. 1.5).

Unsurprisingly, The Walking Dead has already been renewed for a 13 episode second season (the first season is only six episodes).

While there is no worry of  a next season, I still find the ratings for the show interesting.   It has debunked (or at least further debunked) some ratings myths:

  • a show is destined for low ratings due to the network it’s on
  • genre shows are more heavily DVR’d and can’t pull decent live+SD ratings
  • a pilot being leaked to the Internet will kill the premiere’s ratings

To recap the ratings so far:

Premiere – 2.7 adults 18-49 rating and 5.2 million viewers
Second episode: 2.5 adults 18-49 rating and 4.7 million viewers

I predicted a 1.8 adults 18-49 rating and 3.2 million viewers for the second episode.  Oops!  I wouldn’t go that low for the third episode even though there should (hopefully) be a more competitive Sunday Night Football game this week than last (Steelers/Patriots this week, last week the Packers won in a 45-7 blowout of the Cowboys.).  I’ll go with a 2.2 adults 18-49 rating and 4 million viewers.

Once again, I know total viewers don’t really matter for advertising sales, but guess what else doesn’t matter?  Internet polls!  So you can guess the viewers too.  You can find all our posts about The Walking Dead here.


Posted by:TV By The Numbers

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