The cliffhanger at the end of Season 6 of “The Walking Dead” worked really well — at least in terms of ratings.

The show returned to its second-best ratings ever Sunday, dominating everything else on TV for the night — including the NFL.

The Season 7 premiere, which revealed who new villain Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) killed with his barbed-wire baseball bat, drew an 8.4 rating among adults 18-49 and 17.03 million viewers. That’s second only to the Season 5 premiere (8.7, 17.29 million) in “Walking Dead” history.

The episode was also way up from the Season 6 premiere (7.4 in adults 18-49, 14.63 million) and finale (6.9, 14.19 million). It beat everything on broadcast TV in the demo, including NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” (6.0), and trailed only “SNF’s” 17.71 million in viewers.

A 90-minute “Talking Dead” following the episode delivered a 3.7 in the 18-49 demographic and 7.57 million viewers.

AMC’s big night pushed ratings for “Westworld” (0.7, -0.2) and “Shameless” (0.5, -0.1) down compared to the previous week. NFL Network’s telecast of the Giants-Rams game from London drew a 1.4, while “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” posted a 0.7 and “The Real Housewives of New Jersey” a 0.6.

Top 100 cable shows among adults 18-49 for Sunday, Oct. 23, 2016

Show Net Time Total Viewers (000s) 18-49 rating
WALKING DEAD AMC 9:00 PM 17,029 8.4
TALKING DEAD AMC 10:06 PM 7,566 3.7
AMC FEARFEST ZOMBIE AP WK AMC 7:30 PM 5,335 2.4
THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL NFL NETWORK 9:32 AM 3,697 1.4
AMC FEARFEST ZOMBIE AP WK AMC 6:30 PM 2,398 1.1
WALKING DEAD AMC 11:35 PM 2,071 1.0
TNF POST-GAME NFL NETWORK 12:38 PM 2,361 1.0
BASKETBALL WIVES LA 5 VH1 8:00 PM 1,775 0.9
AMC FEARFEST ZOMBIE AP WK AMC 5:30 PM 1,732 0.7
BIG BANG THEORY, THE TBS NETWORK 10:00 PM 2,067 0.7
WESTWORLD HBO PRIME 9:02 PM 1,698 0.7
KEEPING UP KARDASHIANS E! 9:00 PM 1,453 0.7
BIG BANG THEORY, THE TBS NETWORK 10:30 PM 1,841 0.7
FAMILY GUY ADULT SWIM 10:30 PM 1,525 0.7
NASCAR SPRINT CUP RACE L NBC SPORTS NETWORK 2:16 PM 3,575 0.6
BIG BANG THEORY, THE TBS NETWORK 9:30 PM 1,859 0.6
REAL HSWIVES OF NJ BRAVO 8:00 PM 1,688 0.6
FAMILY GUY ADULT SWIM 10:00 PM 1,440 0.6
BIG BANG THEORY, THE TBS NETWORK 9:00 PM 1,756 0.6
RICK & MORTY ADULT SWIM 11:00 PM 1,327 0.6
AMC FEARFEST ZOMBIE AP WK AMC 4:30 PM 1,411 0.6
SUNDAY MOVIE FREEFORM 9:50 PM 1,308 0.6
BIG BANG THEORY, THE TBS NETWORK 8:30 PM 1,592 0.5
SHAMELESS S7 SHOWTIME PRIME 9:03 PM 1,378 0.5
AMC FEARFEST ZOMBIE AP WK AMC 3:30 PM 1,225 0.5
AMC FEARFEST ZOMBIE AP WK AMC 2:30 PM 1,157 0.5
ALASKA: THE LAST FRONTIER DISCOVERY CHANNEL 9:00 PM 2,787 0.5
SPONGEBOB NICKELODEON 11:00 AM 1,750 0.5
90 DAY FIANCE: HAPPILY EV TLC 9:02 PM 1,351 0.5
SUNDAY MOVIE FREEFORM 7:20 PM 1,234 0.5
90 DAY FIANCE TLC 8:00 PM 1,315 0.5
BIG BANG THEORY, THE TBS NETWORK 8:00 PM 1,325 0.5
AMC FEARFEST ZOMBIE AP WK AMC 1:30 PM 1,067 0.5
FX MOVIE PRIME FX 7:00 PM 1,726 0.5
COMIC BOOK MEN AMC 12:40 AM 940 0.5
AMERICAN DAD ADULT SWIM 9:30 PM 1,175 0.5
HALLOWEEN WARS 6 FOOD NETWORK 9:00 PM 1,419 0.5
AMC FEARFEST ZOMBIE AP WK AMC 12:30 PM 1,057 0.5
SPONGEBOB NICKELODEON 10:30 AM 1,681 0.5
SPONGEBOB NICKELODEON 11:30 AM 1,721 0.4
FAMILY GUY ADULT SWIM 2:30 AM 855 0.4
FAMILY GUY ADULT SWIM 2:00 AM 838 0.4
YOUR PRETTY FACE/HELL ADULT SWIM 11:30 PM 992 0.4
KING OF THE HILL ADULT SWIM 5:30 AM 845 0.4
SPONGEBOB NICKELODEON 10:00 AM 1,564 0.4
AMC FEARFEST ZOMBIE AP WK AMC 10:30 AM 889 0.4
AMC FEARFEST ZOMBIE AP WK AMC 11:30 AM 931 0.4
STRAIN FX 10:00 PM 939 0.4
AMERICAN DAD ADULT SWIM 1:30 AM 832 0.4
LAST WEEK TONIGHT HBO PRIME 11:02 PM 1,181 0.4
NFL COUNTDOWN L ESPN 11:00 AM 1,042 0.4
AMERICAN DAD ADULT SWIM 5:00 AM 780 0.4
SPONGEBOB NICKELODEON 9:30 AM 1,469 0.4
SPONGEBOB NICKELODEON 9:00 AM 1,387 0.4
AMERICAN DAD ADULT SWIM 4:30 AM 751 0.4
BOBS BURGERS ADULT SWIM 1:00 AM 836 0.4
LAW & ORDER: SVU USA NETWORK 7:00 PM 1,314 0.4
BREAK HBO PRIME 8:57 PM 937 0.4
ONE-PUNCH MAN ADULT SWIM 3:00 AM 740 0.4
DREAM CORP LLC ADULT SWIM 11:45 PM 859 0.4
LAW & ORDER: SVU USA NETWORK 8:00 PM 1,325 0.4
GUYS GROCERY GAMES FOOD NETWORK 8:00 PM 1,305 0.4
BOBS BURGERS ADULT SWIM 4:00 AM 718 0.4
LOUD HOUSE NICKELODEON 12:00 PM 1,457 0.4
NASCAR SPRINT CUP START L NBC SPORTS NETWORK 1:57 PM 2,028 0.4
BREAK HBO PRIME 10:01 PM 1,000 0.4
BOBS BURGERS ADULT SWIM 9:00 PM 1,005 0.4
SUNDAY MOVIE FREEFORM 4:40 PM 945 0.4
SPORTSCENTER WEEKEND-AM L ESPN 9:00 AM 896 0.4
COLL FTBL SCOREBOARD ESPN 3:00 AM 765 0.4
WALKING DEAD AMC 1:10 AM 712 0.4
EDGE OF ALASKA DISCOVERY CHANNEL 10:01 PM 1,791 0.3
LIGA MX L UNIVISION DEPORTES 9:00 PM 717 0.3
BOBS BURGERS ADULT SWIM 3:30 AM 695 0.3
PEOPLE OF EARTH TBS NETWORK 11:00 PM 917 0.3
LAW & ORDER: SVU USA NETWORK 5:00 PM 1,172 0.3
GEORGE LOPEZ NICK-AT-NITE 3:51 AM 745 0.3
FRIENDS NICK-AT-NITE 11:30 PM 970 0.3
GEORGE LOPEZ NICK-AT-NITE 6:00 AM 808 0.3
GEORGE LOPEZ NICK-AT-NITE 6:30 AM 792 0.3
LAW & ORDER: SVU USA NETWORK 6:00 PM 1,168 0.3
LEGO MOVIE THE CARTOON NETWORK 7:00 PM 1,262 0.3
ELENA OF AVALOR DISNEY CHANNEL 9:00 AM 1,387 0.3
PROPERTY BROTHERS (1 HR) HOME AND GARDEN TV 7:00 PM 1,254 0.3
GEORGE LOPEZ NICK-AT-NITE 4:24 AM 744 0.3
BAR RESCUE SPIKE TV 10:00 PM 738 0.3
GEORGE LOPEZ NICK-AT-NITE 5:30 AM 781 0.3
LAW & ORDER: SVU USA NETWORK 4:00 PM 1,108 0.3
BIG BANG THEORY, THE TBS NETWORK 7:30 PM 915 0.3
FRESH PRINCE OF BEL AIR NICK-AT-NITE 2:45 AM 737 0.3
SPORTSCENTER WEEKEND-AM L ESPN 8:00 AM 789 0.3
NFL INSIDERS: SUNDAY L ESPN 10:00 AM 853 0.3
SUNDAY MOVIE FREEFORM 6:50 PM 825 0.3
LAW & ORDER: SVU USA NETWORK 9:00 PM 1,262 0.3
BASKETBALL WIVES LA 5 VH1 9:00 PM 751 0.3
TNF SHOWCASE NFL NETWORK 9:00 AM 824 0.3
SPONGEBOB NICKELODEON 8:30 AM 1,031 0.3
WAGS MIAMI E! 10:01 PM 607 0.3
ALVINNN!!! AND THE CHIPMU NICKELODEON 7:30 AM 920 0.3
SPONGEBOB NICKELODEON 1:30 PM 1,310 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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