AMC’s ‘Walking Dead’ Draws Record Finale Ratings

walking dead finale recap
Image courtesy of AMC

AMC’s “The Walking Dead” wrapped its highest-rated season yet Sunday with more monster numbers, including a series record for a finale and drawing more than four times as many young adults as the night’s top-rated broadcast entertainment series.

According to preliminary Nielsen estimates, the 90-minute season-ender of “Walking Dead” averaged an 8.2 rating in adults 18-49 and 15.8 million viewers overall — up about 3% in both categories vs. its year-ago finale. It was also up week-to-week by 17% in the demo and by 14% in total viewers.

This is the second highest demo rating (tied with its season 4 premiere and behind only the season 5 premiere) and the third largest overall viewership total in the show’s 70-episode history.

By comparison, the hottest new show of this season — Fox’s “Empire” — wrapped earlier this month with a lower demo rating (6.9) but more total viewers (17.62 million).

For the season, “Walking Dead” averaged a 7.3 rating among adults 18-49 and 14.2 million viewers overall in same-night ratings — increases of about 10% vs. 2013-14 and up about 30% vs. 2012-13.

It’s easily the television season’s No. 1-rated entertainment series in 18-49, averaging about 2 million more viewers in the demo than “The Voice” and about 3 million more than “Empire,” according to Nielsen’s “live plus same-day” averages. This is especially impressive considering that AMC is available in about 20 million fewer homes than the Big Four networks.

“Walking Dead” wasn’t quite able to continue its incredible streak of delivering higher numbers with each half season, as this year’s winter/spring edition (7.3 in 18-49, 14.2 million viewers overall) came in a bit below last fall’s averages (7.5 in 18-49, 14.6 million total viewers).

In adults 18-49, “Dead” drew more than six times as many viewers as the top-rated broadcast program in the 9 o’clock hour (ABC’s “Secrets and Lies” and Fox’s “The Last Man on Earth”). And among all Sunday broadcast entertainment series, “Walking” rated more than four times higher than top show “Once Upon a Time,” which averaged a preliminary 1.7 rating in the 8 o’clock hour.

Following the “Walking Dead” finale, the season finale of “Talking Dead” drew its highest ratings ever (3.9 rating in 18-49, 7.5 million viewers overall). For the season, it ranks 10th among all primetime entertainment series in 18-49.

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  1. MichaelI says:

    Now i do not care about this, i am making average $5000 a month. There is tricky method i found on the web. If you want to learn it too, just type in google: Willis Mounts Strategy

  2. Patrick Sumilat says:

    One of the best tv series in the world.
    A series of life
    A series of love

  3. YouTube says:

    Don’t listen to these trolls that don’t wacth the show and hate it. For a horrible reason. Wacth a better show they say. Then this. Fucking trolls. #TWDphenomenon #TWD4ever #TWDfamily #TWDSEASON6. TWD returns October 11th & 12th Sunday’s always.

  4. neal says:

    The highest rated Walking Dead episode was from season 5 episode 1 called no sanctuary at 17. 5

  5. adrienne says:

    Ok… why does this drama keep getting passed over at the Emmys????

    • Steve Davis says:

      cause its not emmys kind of show.why do people watch this crap.

      • YouTube says:

        I bet TWD will get about 5 or 7 Emmys. But the Emmys won’t give TWD phenomenon. an Emmy because there to scared. So sad. But there always nominated or also 1 or 2 wins with an Emmy that’s fine. Nominated for 1 golden globe tho. Good. Hope they win an Emmy & a golden globe.

      • Bill B. says:

        It is admittedly sometimes torturous to watch, but the quality of the this show is outstanding.

      • Bill says:

        Still wondering why people who don’t like this show read and comment on articles about it.

  6. I love The Walking Dead! I can’t wait for the next season!

  7. Chris Siale says:

    loved the last episode

  8. walker23 says:

    stop with the half season stuff. the show looses momentum and then when it builds up again–poof– it is over. can’t stand half seasons.

  9. 15.8 is a new record you sure? I was predicting around 18 mil. It was EPIC! BEST TWD season finale to date in my opinion!

  10. opsmoma says:

    For people who have not watched this show, Hurry! It’s never to late to get on this ride! This is quality storytelling at it’s finest.

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