“The Walking Dead” returned Sunday to its smallest premiere in several years.

Although it’s still among the biggest shows on TV, the AMC series put up its smallest premiere rating among adults 18-49 (5.0) since Season 2 and its smallest total audience for a season debut (11.44 million) since Season 3.

No one was expecting the show to match last year’s massive debut (the show’s second-best outing ever with an 8.4 in the 18-49 demographic and 17 million viewers), but “The Walking Dead” was also behind its Season 7 average (5.4) and the rating for last season’s finale (also 5.4). It was slightly ahead of both last season’s viewer average (11.35 million) and the finale total (11.31 million).

Sunday’s show was also the biggest premiere on cable in 2017, besting the 4.7 and 10.11 million viewers for “Game of Thrones.”

Elsewhere, “Outlander” continued its strong third season on Starz, hitting another series high in viewers (1.72 million) and tying its series best in adults 18-49 at 0.4.

Top 25 original cable shows among adults 18-49 for Sunday, Oct. 22, 2017

Show Net Time Total viewers (000s) 18-49 rating
THE WALKING DEAD AMC 9:00 PM 11,439 5.0
TALKING DEAD AMC 10:07 PM 4,895 2.1
90 DAY FIANCE: BEFORE 90 TLC 8:00 PM 1,820 0.6
KEEPING UP W/THE KARDASHIANS E! 9:00 PM 1,126 0.5
SHAHS OF SUNSET BRAVO 8:00 PM 1,406 0.5
90 DAY FIANCE TLC 9:01 PM 1,686 0.5
SQUIDBILLIES ADULT SWIM 12:00 AM 890 0.4
NFL COUNTDOWN ESPN 10:00 AM 1,103 0.4
NASCAR CUP SERIES RACE NBCSN 3:26 PM 2,756 0.4
OUTLANDER STARZ 8:02 PM 1,716 0.4
HALLOWEEN WARS FOOD 9:00 PM 1,286 0.4
CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM HBO 10:01 PM 1,105 0.4
ALASKA: THE LAST FRONTIER DISCOVERY 9:00 PM 2,351 0.4
THE JELLIES ADULT SWIM 12:15 AM 741 0.4
GOOD WITCH: SPELLBOUND HALLMARK 8:00 PM 2,696 0.4
SPORTSCENTER WEEKEND ESPN 9:00 AM 769 0.3
SPORTSCENTER ESPN 12:00 AM 680 0.3
GUY’S GROCERY GAMES FOOD 8:00 PM 1,074 0.3
COMIC BOOK MEN AMC 1:06 AM 743 0.3
EDGE OF ALASKA DISCOVERY 10:02 PM 1,698 0.3
VICE PRINCIPALS HBO 10:34 PM 647 0.3
DEADLINE: CRIME W/TAMRON HALL ID 10:00 PM 1,077 0.3
NASCAR CUP SERIES START NBCSN 2:58 PM 1,818 0.3
SPORTSCENTER WEEKEND ESPN 8:00 AM 654 0.3
RAY DONOVAN SHOWTIME 9:06 PM 1,233 0.3

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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