October 14, 2013

THE SKED: Galloping “Dead” Sets New Records


Chewing up showrunners and spitting them out definitely hasn’t hurt THE WALKING DEAD any.  Its Season 4 premiere broke all its own records, with an unbelievable total viewership of 16.1M people and an 8.2 rating in 18-49s.  That 18-49 rating is higher than anything aired so far this season on any network in primetime, broadcast or cable–even including Sunday Night Football.  The Season 4 numbers are 25% higher than Season 3’s premiere.  Here’s an incredible factoid:  in 18-49s, Walking Dead‘s rating was almost quintuple the number for the competing Revenge on ABC, and roughly 7x The Good Wife on CBS.

With that kind of lead-in, even the low-budget post-Dead talk show TALKING DEAD looked like a smash, with 5.1M viewers and a 2.6 18-49 rating.  The latter beat everything on the networks all night except football (in current numbers, the baseball playoffs are behind, but we think adjusted numbers will pull baseball slightly ahead of Talking Dead).

We’ll see tomorrow how these gargantuan numbers affected the competition on HBO and Showtime, although since those networks are on a subscription model, it really doesn’t matter when or how viewers watch Boardwalk Empire or Homeland as long as they catch up eventually.


About the Author

Mitch Salem
MITCH SALEM has worked on the business side of the entertainment industry for 20 years, as a senior business affairs executive and attorney for such companies as NBC, ABC, USA, Syfy, Bravo, and BermanBraun Productions, and before that, at the NY law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges. During all that, he has more or less constantly been going to the movies and watching TV, and writing about both since the 1980s. His film reviews also currently appear on and In addition, he is co-writer of an episode of the television series "Felicity."