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

Walking Dead Season 4 Mid-Season premiere ratings 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)

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