“Into the Badlands” came out swinging in its Season 2 premiere on Sunday. The AMC martial arts series rose significantly in both key ratings measures over the Season 1 finale, which aired back in December 2015.
Airing at 10 p.m., the action-centric series’ sophomore opener drew a 1.42 rating in the key adults 18-49 demographic and 3.435 million viewers. Compared to the Season 1 finale, that is approximately a 42% improvement in the demo and approximately a 37% improvement in total viewers. In addition, the series drew 1.972 million of its total viewers in the adults 25-54 demographic, making it the the number one returning drama for 2017 to date in both broadcast and cable in that demo.
To be fair, the Season 2 premiere did have the advantage of airing immediately after “The Walking Dead,” while the Season 1 finale did not. In addition, the Season 2 premiere was down compared to the Season 1 premiere. Season 1’s opening episode drew a 3.15 rating and 6.39 million viewers, meaning Season 2 debuted approximately 55% lower in the key demo and 46% lower in total viewers.
From AMC Studios, “Into the Badlands” was created by Al Gough and Miles Millar, who serve as showrunners, writers and executive producers. The show is executive produced by Stacey Sher and Michael Shamberg, director David Dobkin, fight director Stephen Fung and Daniel Wu.
The series stars Wu as Sunny; Marton Csokas as Quinn; Aramis Knight as M.K.; Oliver Stark as Ryder; Emily Beecham as The Widow; Orla Brady as Lydia; Sarah Bolger as Jade; Ally Ioannides as Tilda; and Madeleine Mantock as Veil. “Shaun of the Dead” star Nick Frost joined the show this season as Bajie.
The new season opened with Sunny and M.K. separated and imprisoned, far apart. M.K. is struggling to control his powers, and Sunny is determined to fight his was back into the Badlands to find his family.