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AMC’s ‘The Walking Dead’ Finishes as TV’s Top Series in Key Demo for Fourth Straight Season

It’s official, zombies still rule the television world.

Last Sunday’s season finale of AMC’s “The Walking Dead” averaged 18.4 million viewers and 11.5 million adults 18-49 (9.1 national rating), according to Nielsen’s “live plus-3” estimates, which include three days’ worth of DVR playback and VOD where available. The network said the episode is also expected to generate more than 1 million additional digits views.

The finale caps a fourth straight year that “Walking Dead” has finished as the most popular series on television among adults 18-49 when including the three-day playback numbers, according to Nielsen. Its average for the season (9.1) towers above NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” (7.5), Fox’s “Empire” (6.7), CBS/NFL Network’s “Thursday Night Football” (5.7) and CBS’ “The Big Bang Theory” (5.6). (“Sunday Night Football” again finished on top in same-day ratings.)

“Walking Dead” fell off a little this season, but still held up better than most other entertainment series in L+3. As a result it opened up ground on other top-10 shows like “Empire,” “Modern Family,” “The Voice” and “Scandal.”

Sunday’s finale of “The Walking Dead” grew from its same-day averages by 32% in adults 18-49 (9.1 vs. 6.9) and by 30% in total viewers (18.4 million vs. 14.2 million) vs. its same-day averages — lower-than-usual lifts for the show, highlighting the must-see-now nature of its finales. In L+3, the 9.1 rating on Sunday represents the show’s third highest of 2016 (behind its first two episodes in February).

Post-discussion series “Talking Dead” finished its season strong as well, with its finale averaged 7.4 million viewers and a 3.5 rating in adults 18-49 in L+3.

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