‘The Walking Dead’ Draws Record 16.1 Million Viewers

The Walking Dead TV Review on

It's the fall's No. 1 series telecast in 18-49

AMC’s “The Walking Dead,” basic cable’s biggest series of all time, opened its fourth season Sunday with more record numbers.

Despite facing higher-rated sports competition this year from both football and postseason baseball, “Walking Dead” returned Sunday with a monster average audience of 16.1 million viewers — more than 5 million viewers better than last year’s 10.87 million and more than double where it kicked off its second season in October 2011 (7.26 million).

It also did a huge 8.2 rating in adults 18-49, making it easily the top-rated entertainment series telecast of the season, ahead of CBS’ “The Big Bang Theory” (5.5 for its season premiere and a 6.1 for a special second episode right after it).

In adults 25-54, its 7.3 rating ties with the regular-timeslot episode of “NCIS” as the season’s best for an entertainment series.  (The second “Big Bang” did an 8.0).

The previous series high for “Dead” — and the all-time best for a cable series — was its third-season finale last spring, which drew 12.42 million and a 6.4 rating in adults 18-49.

By comparison, AMC’s “Breaking Bad” wrapped its run last month with an average audience of 10.28 million and a 5.3 rating in adults 18-49 — easily the best scores for this series.

AMC also scored with post-show “The Talking Dead,” which drew a series-record 5.1 million viewers and a 2.6 rating in adults 18-49.

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  1. Fawn says:

    I must say I was as excited as a Zombie breaking into a seniors facility for the season 4 premiere…..sadly I found the center evacuated….What an immense let down…Characters out of Character ( Carl reading comic books,Rick farming, Daryl spewing out comedic dialog, Michonne concerned about grooming)….What happened to this cast….it was like they left Atlanta and decided to retire in Florida….Tired look,Tired sets….The Prison has to go.Repetitive shots of the prison set, inside and out, are mind numbingly dull, and if I Never see a walker killed along the fence again it’ll be too soon.

    Excitement and intrigue came in small doses, if at all…even the roof attack appeared time worn and watching people get sick and die this season is really going to get people gnawing on their fingernails………..but worst is the foreshadowing of the Governor……will this regurgitated stoyline really be returning….This is a critical season…The “Dead” can wander for years ripping at flesh and lapping up brains or take a bolt and fall to the side……Time will tell…

  2. zombie banks says:

    I love this show. The season premiere was great. Zombies falling through the ceiling was bada–. I love the new bada–, tough as nails leader Sasha. I’m a woman and I love high quality tv shows that give me tough, competent women to identify with. The character development was solid. Also, the new disease gave us a great cliffhanger for subsequent episodes. This show is so popular because it has something for everyone who likes action, horror and drama.

  3. Julles46 says:

    Couldn’t have said it better!

  4. Snapsis says:

    Good dialogue. Characters are believable and audience grows with each character…You either love them or hate them. Acting is outstanding. Scenarios are plausible.

  5. Dave says:

    I am a Duck Dynasty fan. Still. Best. Show. Ever.

  6. JCaus says:

    YouWaver… do you even watch the show? It’s A LOT more than just violence.

  7. YouWaver says:

    A piece of s___t show with lots of violance for the brain dead people, HBO’s Sopranos on steroids. There are at least 10 better TV shows out there right now.

    • zombie banks says:

      I doubt you’ve ever seen the show. You should try watching an episode. You may like it. The first three seasons are all on netflix.

  8. Susan See says:

    I’m 70. What about our numbers. I watch The Walking Dead and Breaking Bad!

  9. Dave says:

    I find the show refreshing….No government spying on you or taking your money! What a wonderful life it would be.

  10. Shalmaneser says:

    During the production of the Alien series of movies, it was observed by a movie critic that the monsters often reflect the current social monsters active. He drew parallels between the acid blooded Aliens and the cold hearted corporate raiders who were buying up well capitalized companies and selling their parts for a profit. The jobs lost were considered acceptable collateral damage.
    I wonder what he would have made of these bloodsucker movies.

    • You may not know this but there is another connect to Aliens. That is Academy award wining producer Gale Ann Hurd. Gale was the producer of the Alien series, as well as many other box office breakers.

      • zombie banks says:

        The zombies represent our walking dead bankers who figuratively feast on the flesh of the productive members of society. As a real world example, there is nothing more terrifying than returning home to find that your locks have been changed and that all your furniture is gone because Bank of America has foreclosed on your house even though you don’t have a mortgage. Try calling one of their brain dead bankers, who’s incompetence has torn apart your life, and tell me they don’t remind you of a ravenous, mindless zombie.

    • Greg Gracer says:

      Dear Shallowmaneater…production of this spector is all about simple thrills and blood and guts…and lots of money! nothing more. Movie critics are self absorbed in their own little prissy jejune observation of movies as if they are some noble depiction of their own disdain for Corporate America. If it weren’t for the capitalist pigs who make this shit there would be no electricity to watch and criticize movies with in the first place. Monsters, aliens, and zombies are about feeding the frenzy and lust of the hordes of tv zombies who have no life and feed off the pathetic misfortune of actors who die for them on screen to make their lives a little more tolerable. The syllabus is: “Life sucks and die” There’s your critique.

      • zombie banks says:

        The anxiety that people feel in their daily lives though can prime them to be receptive to a horror show that deals with a threat that reminds them of what they’re dealing with themselves. BTW, there’s nothing wrong with corporate america as a whole. The problem is the small number of parasites in corporate america who provide nothing of value and just take take take, and then demand bailouts when they finally kill off their supporting hosts.

  11. Wake Up B4 Your Dead! says:

    It won’t take long for tv shows like this to be outlawed! Only Big Brother Barack & his Friends can own GUNS! The Walking Dead shows the need for people to use guns for personal protection. Because when any Government has a Monopoly of GUNS/Violence Genocide takes place for the citizens!

  12. Jonathan says:

    Let’s kind of give Greg Nicotero & company a break. First of all, they are rewriting the legend as they go, since Robert Kirkman’s graphic novels are far too graphic even for a “mature’ cable show. Secondly, they are only up to about issue #15 or so, and there are over 100 now. The series may go on for several more years. Third, the show has given me some good pointers on how to avoid walkers and lurkers. Finally, think of it this way: if you prepare for a Zombie Apocalypse, you are also automatically prepared for just about anything else that will ever go wrong.

  13. AuntieProglodyte says:

    My sentiments exactly! It’s a metaphor for America’s parasitical population cannibalizing the productive population and their in-grained work ethic! The way in which post-Zombie-Apocolypse humanity deals with Zombies, is how we–the Producers–must deal with the Grabbers. Creeping Communism has murdered our once-vibrant economy and culture. Time for Darwinian ideological triage…STAT!

  14. Carl Cee says:

    This piece of crap is still the air – you morons are pathetic. Can you say “the fall of Western Civilization”?

    • b.mclane12 says:

      Sane people occasionally lighten up and don’t associate everything with Dear Leader. Heck, he is why I watch more TV, movies, BBC series and Hulu in the first place AND still I manage to keep up with what the wannabe dictator is doing including giving our US soverignty away at the UN and embowering the WORLD BANK every chance he gets!!!!!!!!!!…….must go return on ON DEMAND.

  15. Greg Gracer says:

    Sorry, I have more.

    Now that they have started a garden, why not enhance their new lifestyle with an exercise program? Some group jump rope sessions in the prison yard, lots of weights there too.

    Crank up the generator and plug an old recovered Richard Simmons exercise video into a VCR. Pipe the audio all over the prison yard. Better than bullets and barbed wire to ward off the walkers.

    For late night entertainment, perhaps some makeshift version of “Group Naked Twister” by flashlight with an old sheet of plastic with dots painted on it…

    Perhaps some vitamins…bet nobody looted the vitamins from the abandoned drug stores and such.

    By season 16 I see Porn Dead as a possible new story board. Very very dark, but by season 16 we will need very very dark…Just plain dark wont be enough.

    Does anyone eat raw meat while they’re watching this show? Is it just me? Writers….call me! I have some other ideas!

  16. Patrick W. says:

    Great. My favorite show. Go zombies!!!!!

  17. Don says:

    I watched this program for the first time last Thursday when AMC had a 3 day marathon leading up to the season 4 premier, and it was a pleasant surprise!! I watched hour after hour of this program Thursday to Sunday and I thought it was excellent! I had expected that it was going to be lame. I’m glad I was wrong. Thanks AMC!

  18. Sir Frontsalot says:

    I think you were looking for Spielberg’s Amistad.

  19. Greg Gracer says:

    The Kardashians will all appear about mid season with Chris Jenner already looking like a zombie who will have no choice but to get “sworded” by Mishon before the 1st commercial.

  20. Mikeinsa , dude not that much time has gone by in the show. Maybe a year and a half. How the hell are you going to acclimate when the shit is constantly hitting the fan. Your obeservations are imbecile. I bet Judith the baby has the Cure to the madness in her DNA. I really don’t think the kid in the shower turned because of the water. To obvious, the close up at the shower head proves that. Also the kid that died was the kid that played Chris’s friend in Everybody hates Chris.

    • Sir Frontsalot says:

      Wait…

      People are unclear, after four season why the kid turned? He died from whatever the disease was (nausea, high fever. After a few minutes of death, he turned.

      • Sir Frontsalot says:

        Greg,

        You may be right, but it seems awfully quick to be Cholera, and that only has a 50-60% mortality rate if untreated, 1% if treated. The kid showed symptoms early in the day with the nausea, and by that evening, he was showing a 104+ fever to the point of it killing him. That’s pretty extreme. Cholera can be treated by oral rehydration to replace the lost fluids from vomiting and diarrhea. They could be taking poetic license and making it an amped up version, but I think it’s something more insidious.

        Don,

        My first thought was swine flu lol.

      • Greg Gracer says:

        It’s cholera…Rick splashed his face with water from the rain barrel…Hes going to get sick next…Carl takes over as the prince and heir to the throne. Glenn and Maggie get fed up with a kid in an oversized sherrifs hat giving orders and steal Mishons sword to “off” him and set up Mishon as the perp. Darryl, chokes on a meal of squirrel and rabid possum and the Governor finds Jesus and returns to the prison to rehabilitate the walkers, only to be bitten by the horse. Hershel runs off (very slowly) with all of the tomatoes from the garden never to be seen again. Stay tuned! I read the bootleg script. Sorry to ruin it for all of you, now everyone back to work bitching about Obamacare and Congress. Sorry.

      • Don says:

        I think that dead pig they found holds the clue to why he died. Maybe swine are susceptible to whatever started the whole Zombie infection??

  21. jack203 says:

    It’s still on my watch list, but cmon. The show isn’t even that great. It’s gotten worse every season (Season 1 was the best by far). If the trend continues, I’ll probably give it up.

    The zombie violence and gore is getting old and boring.

  22. mikeinsa says:

    1. By now they should have had a dog. Cattle, pigs, deer and horses, but no dog. And I think I saw them in one scene.

    2. There does not seem to be a plan for mass zombie elimination. Right now, the living are not at the top of the food chain. Man is always at the top of the food chain, except in the presence sharks, grizzly bears and very large cats.

    3. However many years into this zombie apocalypse and the people are still scrounging for supplies. They have made a small attempt at farming, but it will have to get larger in scale. There should be a path towards a technological revival.

    4. Technology requires a multi-layered education plan. I would think runs for supplies would include trips to the library, for reference material. Tool making, a hallmark of modern man will have to become part of the daily life.

    5. By now, gasoline has lost most of it’s energy value. Diesel should still work. And praise be to liberals, alternative energy could become the second story in this show. But, not too preachy.

    • zombie banks says:

      Good point, they really should have a dog. The only potential problem I can think of though is that if they go back on the road it’s barking could be a problem. While it could be helpful to have a dog alert you to a zombie threat, sometimes it’s best to just let the zombies go if they don’t see you, particularly when you’re dealing with a herd.

    • Don says:

      I watched all 3 seasons in 3 days, and I thought they kept up the level of intensity quite well. I intend to continue watching it because it should be able to run at least a couple more seasons without much problem as long as the story line is fresh.

      • A.Men says:

        Please, add educational aspects for survival …. show how to dress a squirrel. There are no high quality how-tos on youtube.

    • Sir Frontsalot says:

      Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. The world is still on the safety level, and working on love/belonging. A person can’t move forward to the next level until his present concerns are secure.

      The world is still full of zombies, ragtag groups, solo people cowering in fear or crazed, maniacal groups of people who prey on other people. They haven’t even achieved a satisfactory level of safety, as evidenced by Glenn, even though it’s clear many of think there has to be a rethinking of the idea of safety, relative to the old definition, ala Beth, Carol, and the person who voiced it most clearly, Maggie.

      • abn505 says:

        It’s not hard to dress a squirrel, first you need to find some very tiny clothes…..

      • Sir Frontsalot says:

        I was more replying to the technological and planning aspects you were talking about. As for the dogs, they are aggressive when they need to be, and I think most dogs, when confronted with the undead, would go into natural warning mode of rushing and barking; quickly becoming lunch for the infected.

        Gasoline still has an energy value, btw, but there are drawbacks. The plus side on travel is cars are everywhere, as we’ve seen, the downside is, cars are everywhere. Generators, I would especially imagine in the depths of the prison, would still improve life and contribute to gas maintaining its value, but again, that draws a lot more walkers.

      • mikeinsa says:

        I got the whole Maslow’s hierarchy. Dogs have been with man, pre-modern and modern man, about 40,000 years. Not as pets, but an organic alarm system. Hershal is a vet, I’m surprised he did not have a couple dogs and a 3 legged cat.

  23. Casca says:

    Love this show. The only downside is the racism- apparently only White men can be the bad guys.

  24. Foolishcop and others missed the mark with their comments. Of course the writers have to try to build up some kind of relationship between the viewers and all the new characters, otherwise, their inevitable deaths are just detached “who cares” zombie mayhem. With last seasons ending infusion of new characters, everyone knew last nights show was going to be pretty slow moving and focused mostly on character development. It’s writing 101. Even with the main characters, it’s been 6-8 months since we saw them (according to the time line divulged during Talking Dead). So, the writers had to try to fill in some of the blanks. Rick has softened in an attempt to preserve the humanity of his son, which everyone saw slipping away last year. The writers also showed insights into the evolution of other main characters. It had to be done. Anyone who doesn’t realize that Walking Dead is going to ramp up again just isn’t aware of certain writing realities. Yeah…yesterday’s show was pretty slow moving. But anyone who watched the commercial of things to come, knows this isn’t going to be the norm. I love this show, and can’t wait until next Sunday.

  25. FoolishCop says:

    Unfortunately I was unimpressed with the premiere, if for no other reason than the ridiculous amount of commercials that ran during the show. There was easily an equal amount of air time for ads as for the show.

    But the storyline also seemed weak. All the love and good-feelings in the beginning was too heavy-handed and telegraphed bad things to come. And the emasculation of Rick is so annoying. You’re in the zombie apocalypse and you’re not going to shoot a gun ever again? Seriously?

    The writing hasn’t been as sharp as it was, particularly at the start. Perhaps Rick’s wimpiness is in the comics — I’ve purposely not read them to not have any inkling of what might be coming even though they veer often from the source material — but it’s definitely a grating diversion. Hey! Everyone’s lost someone in the apocalypse, why is he so special he can’t get a grip on himself and his manhood?

    Hoping it picks up again, and they cut down on the commercials.

    • zombie banks says:

      Bro, I just can’t relate to your concerns about Rick’s “emasculation.” The guy has two kids and wants to be around to raise them. That may not happen if he’s always going off to kill zombies. Farming is important work and it’s not like there isn’t plenty of zombie a–kicking action on the show by other members of the group.

      It’s sad that a guy can be so sexist that he can’t stand to see a man raise his children.

    • Dmegel says:

      Nope, the show is moving pretty far past the stories of the comics (which I like & don’t like), but in the comics Grimes does what is necessary. So I can see how they thought that wouldn’t make him relatable. Although reading this comic how the characters are losing chunks of their humanity is interesting.

      • Abby says:

        Rick’s not special in that regard. Look at how off-his-nut the Governor became once his daughter was bitten and turned. We focus on Rick’s sense of crazy, however, because he is the central character on the show.

    • b.mclane12 says:

      Not sure what show you watched. Rick is not emasculated…..he is just taking a well deserved break from being the daily leader and getting some peace playing in the garden. He’s sees no need to be armed to the max while pruning tomatoes. The WHOLE prison has been pretty calm for 7 months. What do you expect? Rick walking around daily covered in zombie innards ? When things turn upside down again he will be fierce. To criticize the premiere setting the stage AFTER they had zombies falling from the sky and daily head piercing down at the fence is plain juvenile. Its a series not Grand Theft Auto !

    • Jay says:

      “The writing hasn’t been as sharp as it was”

      The writing hasn’t been as sharp since season 2.

  26. B. S. Davis says:

    People are smart enough to avoid the liberal networks like ABC, CBS and NBC – they can eat dust

  27. PapaUmMaoMao says:

    Don’t know ’bout all y’all, but I’m experiencing some serious jonesing over no more Breaking Bad…

    • I.M. Buckwheat says:

      OK PapaUmMaoMao…your nom de guerre made me laugh. I am gonna have that song stuck in my head for some time now.

  28. I.M. Buckwheat says:

    Better than most dreck on TV these days. No way the writing / story line can compare to Breaking Bad.

  29. jshell says:

    It’s not even that great a show — it’s just the best on TV.

    • b.mclane12 says:

      *sigh*…….. show is NOT about zombies and scary stuff. Its not just for 12 year old boys. Its about what lies at the core of each human when modern human life is competely replaced with insane chaos. What would you be capable of if your life was on the line every moment? How long would you last? What would you become under such stress?

  30. Nice to see people are leaving the alphabet networks and big Hollywood for cable.

  31. bumpkin says:

    One can ALWAYS depend upon lovely horseflesh to admire in any movie that contains a horse-scene…

  32. jravka says:

    Beaking Bad, Walking Dead, Game of Thrones, Boardwalk Empire… we are living in the golden age of television!

  33. Melvin says:

    Great series.. really enjoy it :)

  34. Jim says:

    Please for the love of god do not even remotely compare walking dead to the complete thunderfucking epicness of breaking bad

    • Ray says:

      Breaking Bad can’t compare to Walking Dead. I laughed and laughed at Breaking Bad’s fan’s talking about how their ratings were so great and Walking Dead STOMPS it and puts a knife thru its brain so easily. lolol. Go watch your reruns.

      • Sir Frontsalot says:

        I don’t know any fan of any television show that is concerned with ratings, other than whether or not the show would get renewed. I find it hard to believe anyone without any vested financial interest in the final half-season of BB gave a toss about the ratings.

        And it sounds like you’ve never watched it. Sucks to be you that you don’t intend to.

  35. Kinda tells you where we are as a country

    • Kenneth Francis says:

      100% agree with you Rich. When you look around at everything, you realize the world does not have long left.

    • Mathius says:

      Well, When real life has begun to become a survival exercise of the producers vs the zombie net consumers, where the economic conditions are ever more skewed to knock the most well meaning producer off into the zombie net consumer catagory, I think you are correct. The Zombie Apoocolyps is a timely metaphore for what we have today in ‘real’ America.

    • Keith Diggs says:

      Take your oh so self righteous azz and go to hell! It’s a F-ING TELEVISION show and we already did Ozzie and Harriet! Moron.

    • John says:

      Remember shows that were uplifting like Highway to Heaven? Today it’s all evil vampires, werewolves, and witches.

    • Bob says:

      I don’t know that these smarter, novel style series mean we are smarter as a country. I think that is mainly due to the fact that with DVRs and On Demand, we are able to ‘flip’ the pages back like we do with novels. But I agree, compared with Hollywood movies which are ALL targeted to global audiences, the American-targeted tv series like Walking Dead and Hell on Wheels does make it appear we are a better country than we used to be.

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