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 Entertainment

It’s gonna cost more to rent at Redbox

redbox

Prices for renting movies and video games will increase starting next week.

in Black Friday, Viral Videos

WATCH: What ‘Black Friday’ would look like as a scary movie

20-overlay6

Black Friday would be a scary shopping experience if it got the Hollywood treatment.

in Entertainment

Channing Tatum going behind the camera to direct

tatum

The "Magic Mike" star is taking on an adaptation of young-adult novel "Forgive Me."

in Black Friday, Lifestyle

Turkey contest gives new meaning to ‘all you can eat’

chestnut

Competitive eater Joey Chestnut has won a turkey-eating contest, setting a record by devouring an entire bird.

in Lifestyle

Pope declares sainthood of 2 Indians, 4 Italians

pope

Pope Francis conferred sainthood on six people on Sunday, praising their "creative" commitment to helping the poor.