‘Walking Dead’ Mid-Season 4 Premiere Steals Ratings Gold from Winter Olympics & Beatles

Published 1 year ago by

 Walking Dead Mid Season 4 Premiere Steals Ratings Gold from Winter Olympics & Beatles

Skiers, skaters and Beatles may have been giving it their all, but in the end, the competition for sunday night ratings was won by zombies. The Walking Dead season 4 returned from hiatus and once again proved to be TV’s big genre juggernaut, scoring 15.8 million viewers overall for its primetime slot. Its companion show, Talking Dead also hit a series high, with a 5.9 million viewer draw.

However, the biggest news was AMC’s zombie series scoring 10.4 million in the 18-49 adult demographic – beating out the 2014 Winter Olympics AND the The Beatles: The Night That Changed America, A Grammy Salute, which drew in 6.9 million and 2.1 million in the 18-49 demo, respectively.

Sure, both the Olympics and The Beatles special drew in better overall viewerships (25.4 million and 14 million, respectively) – but of course both of those were massive “event” broadcasts on network channels. And yet AMC, a cable station airing a comic book horror drama, is what netted advertisers’ most coveted demographic for primetime broadcasts. Not too shabby – even if the 18 – 49 spread can be used to pad numbers that traditionally counted from a 18 – 35 demo spread.

As for mid-season 4 premiere itself? We thought the more stripped-down and intimate character focus was a(nother) step in the right direction for the season; but if feel free to hop on over to our episode review to leave your own opinion in the comment thread.


MORE: Walking Dead Mid-Season 4 Premiere Review


Right now, AMC is sitting on top of a success story – one of few remaining ones, now that Breaking Bad is gone and Mad Men will soon follow it out the door (taking a lot of AMC’s money along with it). The Walking Dead brand is certainly stronger than ever, with the comics, TV series, video games and other merchandise/media connecting with the public. With the announcement of a spinoff TV series being launched in 2015, it seems that AMC is rapidly creating even more avenues to keep this property at the forefront of pop-culture, while also tearing up the ratings chart on a yearly cycle.

With numbers like these, the chances of that happening look good.


The Walking Dead airs @9pm on Sundays on AMC.

Source: Deadline (Link 1)(Link 2)

Follow Kofi Outlaw on Twitter @ppnkof
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  1. well duh. i couldn’t care less about the olympics. sunday’s all about the walkers for me!

  2. Big Deal. Walking Dead isn’t THAT great. Yeah I have watched the first two seasons, got bored with it and have not watched an episode since. That said I am NOT Surprised Walking Dead beat out the Olympics.

    • It didn’t beat out the Olympics; It just got more of the “target demographic” that advertisers like.

    • Then you are in the minority, and have half a basis for opinion anyway.

  3. it’s not fun watching the Olympics when you know the results before it airs which i have noticed NBC does a horrible job of tape delay…watching in Canada it feels like NBC is a few hours behind all the events

    • We get it all live in the UK on BBC1, BBC2 and Eurosport. During the day, you can press the red button on your remote control and watch highlights or anything that’s happening live that can’t be shown on TV due to BBC’s schedule continuing to air shows it aired before the Olympics started (which is why I don’t understand the US networks going on a break for the second time this year already).

      Not surprised though, TWD fans are more likely to watch that show than anything else.

      • We have a much better system for TV entertainment here and an advertisement break every 15 mins or so instead of every 5 mins….. ;)

    • I don’t know how the network deals are for Canada, but here in the US you can watch all the stuff live during the day. Then you get the replays at night for Primetime. I don’t really blame NBC for this. Its just the reality of the situation. Time zones have an effect on someone every Olympics. Its almost impossible to avoid the news with the 24-7, social media, instant news world we live in.

  4. “A spin-off TV series being launched in 2015″

    Dunno If I should be excited or worried.

  5. Its all about the excellent writing, which also brings out the best in the actors.
    Same with Justified, the Americans, and Sons of Anarchy. While network TV puts out garbage like Revolution (simplistic storyline and terrible acting) and the Following (murder-porn).

  6. After living in Georgia for many years, I recognize many of the areas used and alleged to be used. The weather in TWD doesn’t make sense. Rain is rare (albeit is in Ga. a lot in the summer), but there doesn’t seem to be the stifling humidity, nor do they have winter. This past winter in Atlanta is proof positive Ga. has winter.