‘The Walking Dead’ Finale Ratings Spike, But Down From Last Year

walking dead midseason finale recap
Courtesy of AMC

Despite facing the highest-rated “Sunday Night Football” game of the fall, AMC’s “The Walking Dead” capped the first half of its fifth season with more huge numbers and a nice uptick in same-day ratings — but was down a little from last year.

AMC will release “live plus-3” ratings later this week, but “The Walking Dead” on Sunday averaged a 7.0 rating in adults 18-49 and about 14 million viewers overall, according to Nielsen’s “live plus same-day ratings.” This was up about 6% week to week for the show’s best numbers since its season premiere on Oct. 11 (7.4 rating in 18-49, 14.63 million viewers overall).

Compared with last year’s fall finale, “Walking Dead” was down about 7% in the demo (7.6) and 5% in total viewers (from 14.8 million). And there’s reason to believe that these modest declines could be trimmed in L+3 since Sunday’s NFL game between the New England Patriots and Denver Broncos figured to steal away some live viewers.

“Walking Dead” remains the top-rated entertainment series of the fall in key demos despite its modest declines. And by way of comparison, Sunday’s 7.0 rating tops every episode of Fox’s “Empire” to date, with the soap peaking with a 6.9 for its first-season finale last March.

Its first eight episodes of season 5 averaged a 6.7 rating in adults 18-49 13.22 million viewers overall — down 8% in both the demo and total viewers vs. last year. Sunday’s finale was up 15% in the demo from its fall conclusion of two years ago (6.1).

Following “The Walking Dead,” the third episode of “Into the Badlands” averaged a 2.6 rating in adults 18-49 and 5.2 million viewers overall. It was Sunday’s No. 2 entertainment series in the demo, rising 8% from last week.

See More: ‘The Walking Dead’ Sticks with Delayed Gratification in Midseason Finale


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  1. jay says:

    Here we go ” wahhhhhhhh black people are being treated unfairly wahhhhhh” what about michonne? If you hate white people sooo much and feel sooo discriminated against go to africa. Everyone is so sick of hearing the poor me race card,if anything you have more rights than any group now so stfu. Slavery ended in what 1865? Is that not enough time to gtfo it? Wahhhhh wahhhh wahhhh wahhhh wahhhhhhhhhhh

  2. A whole lot of nothing! says:

    It lived up to being a very busy episode that somehow felt like much ado about nothing! The cowardly black priest finally made an appearance of some substantial length. He probably gets killed at the beginning of next season thanks to the cowardly little boy yelling “MOM!….., …..MOM!,….. MOM!” LOL. Then they have another little cowardly, and idiotic black guy running around constantly running around knocking down the zombies with a stick rather than killing them. That’s just brilliant writing(eyeroll). The only black men allowed to survive on the show are the effectively neutered ones. No one is ever in jeopardy of being eaten by the zombies except for secondary white characters that come into the show for limited arcs. At this point, its just a show milking the main plot for as long as they can con idiots into watching every episode. The same main cast of white people that were on the show when it first started are miraculously the same ones that survive all manner of catastrophe. They have more lives than James Bond, Superman, and a cat put together. I’m done watching the show weekly, but like every other idiot, I’ll probably tune into the next finale to see if the story has progressed beyond motorcycle gangs and the same core of “special” white people.

    • Just another idiot says:

      Are you generally this stupid or did you have to dig down deep to pull this comment out of your ass? You do realize that the show has killed off main white characters just as often as they do black characters, right? Do you not count Lori, Shane, Dale, Andrea, and Beth in to your equation or were those not primary characters in your eyes? I also like how you failed to mention one of the strongest and most bad ass characters on the show happens to a black female. I also love how you say that the show continues to milk the plot while they con idiots in to watching, and yet, what were doing on Sunday evening and what did you say you’ll be doing for the next finale? You’re not a bright one are ya?

  3. Dunstan says:

    I gave up on this repetitive nonsense after six episodes. I don’t care about a group of people fighting off endless zombies.

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