AMC has ordered another season of monster hit “The Walking Dead.” The no-“braaaaains”-er comes a full week before the series returns for its seventh season. The 16-episode Season 8 will premiere in late 2017; all 16 episodes of the next season will be followed by episodes of Chris Hardwick-hosted aftershow “The Talking Dead.”
Ratings for the series declined a little in Season 6 from its highs in Season 5, but its average rating in the 18-49 demographic, a 6.5, was lightyears ahead of its scripted competition on broadcast and cable, and its total viewership average of 13.15 million also dwarfs much else on the guide. The show, like many others these days, also tacks on a significant number of delayed viewers.
Speculation as to which one of the core gang of Rick’s followers got their brains bashed in by new villain Negan will likely send viewership for the Season 7 premiere soaring, though there’s no telling if the numbers will match the series high set by the Season 5 premiere — an unseemly 8.7 demo rating and 17.29 million viewers just in live+same-day Nielsen numbers.
Showrunner Scott Gimple reassured fans at New York Comic Con earlier this month that they would indeed find out the identity of Negan’s victim in the premiere.
AMC is currently running a “Walking Dead” marathon as part of its annual Fearfest programming stunt, if you’ve been waiting until the show’s eighth season was secured in order to get on the walker bandwagon.
Season 6 of “The Walking Dead” premieres Sunday, Oct. 23 at 9/8c, followed by a 90-minute installment of “The Talking Dead” to break down every moment of the carnage.