THE WALKING DEAD Season Finale Ratings Hit Series High 6 Million Viewers

     December 6, 2010


After the series premiere raked in such huge ratings, viewership for AMC’s The Walking Dead actually increased over the course of the six-episode first season run, reaching its series high with the season finale this past Sunday night. The first airing pulled in a whopping 6 million total viewers with 4 million of those viewers in the key demographic of adults aged 18-49. This number brings the series average to 3.5 million viewers per episode, and makes The Walking Dead the most watched drama series in basic cable history (at least within that aforementioned demographic). You can get the full rundown of the ratings success in the press release after the jump.

My only complaint with the finale’s success is the lack of pomp and circumstance surrounding the end of the season. While the finale itself was a solid episode, it felt like the penultimate episode leading up to the season finale, rather than the conclusion itself. Don’t get me wrong, I still find The Walking Dead to be one of the more compelling drama series on TV, but I was hoping for something more to conclude such a short season when there’s such a long wait until the second season. Maybe that’s part of the reason the writing staff won’t be back next season. What do you think?


New York, NY – December 6, 2010 – Sunday night’s finale of AMC’s “The Walking Dead” attracted four million viewers in the Adult 18-49 demo. With a series average of 3.5 million Adults 18-49, “The Walking Dead” is the most watched drama series in basic cable history for the demo.*  The finale was the most-watched episode of the season, garnering a 4.1 HH rating and attracting six million total viewers. The final episode ranks first for Adults 18-49 delivery among basic cable for a drama series.

*Source: NMR (1993-12/05/2010), Adults 18-49, program indicator general drama, ad supported cable networks.

Key Ratings Highlights for the finale of The Walking Dead:

  • 10pm airing – 4.1 HH rating with more than 6 million total viewers;
  • 10 pm, 11:00 pm and 1am airings – Gross audience to a 5.7 HH rating with 8.1 million total viewers;
  • Adults 18-49 – 4 million viewers;
  • Adults 25-54 – 3.5 million viewers.

Recently greenlit for a second season, “The Walking Dead” is AMC’s first wholly-owned production. Following its debut on AMC on Sunday, October 31, the series premiered globally in 120 countries and in 33 languages, through an unprecedented partnership between AMC and Fox International Channels. Following record breaking ratings for the international premiere, “The Walking Dead” has continued to deliver stellar ratings on Pay TV in all Fox International Channels’ markets, including the UK, Germany, Spain, Portugal, Mexico, Brazil and Argentina.

“The Walking Dead” is based on the comic book series written by Robert Kirkman and published by Image Comics.  The series tells the story of the months and years that follow after a zombie apocalypse. It follows a group of survivors, led by police officer Rick Grimes, who travel in search of a safe and secure home.  The comic goes on to explore the challenges of life in a world overrun by zombies who take a toll on the survivors, and sometimes the interpersonal conflicts present a greater danger to their continuing survival than the zombies that roam the country.  Over time, the characters are changed by the constant exposure to death and some grow willing to do anything to survive.

“The Walking Dead” received rave reviews from countless critics, who heralded the series as “the best new show on TV” (Entertainment Weekly), “visually stunning…and daring in its artful use of silence” (TV Guide), “…breathtaking in its small moments, in which the pain and glory of being human are conveyed with only the flick of a filmmaking wrist.” (Wall Street Journal), “…evocative, suspenseful” (Boston Globe) “…surprisingly scary and remarkably good” (The New York Times) “…a triumph of tone and mood” (Contra Costa Times) and “a real achievement for a horror show on a basic-cable network” (Rolling Stone). In addition, “The Walking Dead” received “4 Stars” from People and “3 Stars” from the New York Daily News and New York Post, among other outlets.