One of the most-watched shows on television in recent seasons just chalked up some numbers that approach its all-time highs.
Variety reports that Sunday’s season 7 premiere of AMC’s zombie drama “The Walking Dead” delivered a whopping 8.4 rating in the key demo of viewers 18-49, along with 17 million total viewers. The show’s record is held by the season 5 premiere, which pulled an 8.7 average in the demo along with 17.29 million total viewers.
Sunday’s season premiere was up by about 2.37 million total viewers over the premiere a year ago, and up a full ratings point in 18-49 — or about 1.28 million viewers in that demo. The latest episode did set a record in the 25-54 demo with an 8.7 rating, a sign that the show’s audience may be aging just a bit.
“It’s rare for a show in its seventh season to climb back up, much less for a show on a cable network to draw more than double the demo rating of a show like ‘Empire,’ the current broadcast champ by that metric,” Variety notes. “Even Chris Hardwick’s after-show ‘The Talking Dead’ drew an absurd 3.7 demo rating and 7.6 million viewers over its 90-minute episode, in which the cast and crew of ‘The Walking Dead’ worked through their grief in a rainsoaked cemetery in front of a large live audience. That’s bigger than every show on broadcast and cable as well.”