Andrew Lincoln’s much-hyped exit from “The Walking Dead” boosted the show’s ratings–but not by much.
In the Nielsen Live+Same Day numbers, this Sunday’s episode of the AMC series drew a 2.1 rating in adults 18-49 and 5.4 million viewers. That is up approximately 6% in both measures from last week. Those are also the best numbers the show has put up since its season premiere and are on par with the show’s Live+Same Day average up to this point in the season.
The series official aftershow, “Talking Dead,” saw much more noticeable lifts. This Sunday’s “Talking Dead,” which featured an interview with Lincoln, “Walking Dead” chief content officer Scott Gimple, Melissa McBride, and Yvette Nicole Brown, drew a 1.0 rating and 2.7 million viewers. That is up approximately 66% in the key demo and 48% in total viewers over last week.
Although Lincoln is leaving the flagship series, he is staying within the “Walking Dead” universe. The actor will reprise the role of Rick Grimes in a series of feature length projects in development at AMC and written by Gimple. Production on the first project is expected to begin in 2019. “Walking Dead” co-stars Norman Reedus and McBride have also signed so-called franchise deals to potentially appear in similar standalone projects featuring their characters, with Danai Gurira also reportedly in talks for a similar deal.