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‘Into the Badlands’ Ratings: AMC Drama Opens Strong Sunday

AMC’s new post-apocalyptic martial arts series “Into the Badlands” opened very well Sunday night behind “The Walking Dead,” delivering as many same-night young adults as the fall’s top broadcast premieres, “Supergirl” and “Blindspot.” It’s the third huge premiere of the calendar year for AMC, which also launched “Better Call Saul” and “Fear the Walking Dead” to big numbers behind the megahit zombie drama.

According to Nielsen “live plus same-day” estimates, “Into the Badlands” averaged a 3.15 rating in adults 18-49 and 6.4 million viewers overall in the 10 o’clock hour Sunday, making it AMC’s highest-rated fall premiere to date. It retained nearly half the demo lead-in from “The Walking Dead” (6.5 in 18-49, 8.3 million viewers overall), which was up about 5% week to week in both categories.

The network has set a very high ratings bar with its two prior drama launches behind “The Walking Dead” — both of which were extensions of other series on the network. “Breaking Bad” prequel “Better Call Saul” opened with a 3.4 in 18-49 and 6.88 million viewers overall last February, and “Fear the Walking Dead” bowed in August with a 4.9 in the demo and 10.13 million total viewers.

Among all cable premieres ever, the new AMC drama ranks fourth, behind “Fear the Walking Dead” (6.3 million in the demo), “Better Call Saul” (4.4 million) and USA’s “The Dead Zone” in 2002 (4.034 million).

“Badlands” ties with CBS’ “Supergirl” (3.15) and is a smidge ahead of “Blindspot” (3.11) as the highest-rated of the fall’s series premieres in same-day Nielsens. Live+3 ratings will come out on Friday for “Badlands,” which will need to hit a 4.5 in the demo to surpass “Blindspot” (4.45) as the No. 1 opener.


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