News

‘The Walking Dead’ premieres to 16M viewers

‘The Walking Dead’ premieres to 16M viewers

HIGH RATINGS: Cast members and producers of "The Walking Dead" take part in a panel discussion at AMC's TCA Winter Press Tour in Pasadena, California, Jan. 14 2012. Photo: Reuters/REUTERS/Jonathan Alcorn

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – AMC’s cult zombie horror series “The Walking Dead” drew its largest audience in the show’s history, 16.1 million viewers, for the season premiere on Sunday, the U.S. cable television network said on Monday.

According to Nielsen data provided by AMC, the hour-long season premiere was the top-rated show across all U.S. television programming on Sunday night in the 18-49 demographic, including NBC’s NFL “Sunday Night Football” game, which usually draws the largest viewership in the demographic.

Out of the 16.1 million viewers, 10.4 million were in the 18-49 age group most coveted by advertisers. The season three finale of “The Walking Dead” in March attracted a previous high of 12.4 million viewers, with 8.1 million in the 18-49 group.

“The Walking Dead” also went head-to-head against NBC’s primetime football game in much of the country, except for the West Coast. The football game between the Dallas Cowboys and Washington Redskins drew a total of 19.7 million viewers.

AMC said more than 5 million users discussed the season four premiere on Facebook and Twitter, and the episode generated more than 1.1 million tweets on Sunday.

“The Walking Dead,” based on a comic book series of the same name, follows a sheriff’s deputy as he tries to save survivors from flesh-eating zombies in a post-apocalyptic world.

AMC, owned by AMC Networks Inc., has been expanding its audience with stylized shows, such as period advertising drama “Mad Men” which drew a series high of 2.7 million in June this year, and the series finale of gritty drug drama “Breaking Bad,” watched by 10.3 million viewers last month.

Recent Headlines

in Sports

Red Sox spend on Sandoval, Ramirez to shake cellar

Fresh
Los Angeles Dodgers shortstop Hanley Ramirez hits a sixth inning rbi double in Game 3 of baseball's NL Division Series against the St. Louis Cardinals, Monday, Oct. 6, 2014, in St. Louis.

The Red Sox are hoping to spend their way out of the AL East cellar with two big free agent signings.

in Sports

Browns QB Manziel involved in hotel fight

Fresh
Johnny Manziel

Police were called to The Metropolitan at The 9, where Manziel has a luxury apartment, after a fight broke out at 2:25 a.m. Saturday.

in Sports

No. 1 Kentucky gives Kansas a Top 25 tumble

Fresh
Kentucky players wait to enter the game against Montana State during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game, Sunday, Nov. 23, 2014, in Lexington, Ky. Kentucky won 86-28.

The impressive performances this week allowed Kentucky to consolidate its spot atop the AP poll on Monday, earning all but three votes from the 65-member media panel.

in Local Sports

Former Mariner Randy Johnson among 17 newcomers on 2015 HOF ballot

Fresh
Seattle Mariner pitcher Randy Johnson throws against the Cleveland Indians in the first inning of game six of the ALCS in Seattle Tuesday Oct. 17, 1995.

Johnson, Martinez, Smoltz on baseball's Hall of Fame ballot announced Monday

in Local Sports

WWU women’s hoops: Peacocke named GNAC co-Player of the Week

Fresh
WWU hoops

Sophomore earns all-tourney honors at West Region Crossover Classic