February 11, 2013

THE SKED: “Walking Dead” Keeps Chomping


Last night’s midseason premiere of THE WALKING DEAD was disappointingly sluggish, uncompelling, and in its ending, downright silly.  None of that mattered at all to its hordes of fans, though.  The show returned with a gigantic 5.7 rating in 18-49s for its 9PM airing alone (against The Grammys, no less), outrating everything on network TV last week except The Big Bang Theory, as well as a total viewership of 12.3M.  That was the highest rating in history for a basic cable series.  And yes, there’s more:  Walking Dead had additional airings at 11PM, midnight and 2AM, and when they’re all combined, the show had a 7.9 18-49 rating, making it easily the highest-rated series on all of television.  It also had 16.6M total viewers across all airings.  One can hardly blame AMC for being cavalier with its showrunners (Glen Mazzara will soon join series creator Frank Darabont on the junkpile, with Scott Gimple taking over next season), when the show has seemingly unshakable ratings like this.

AMC also premiered a new set of TALKING DEAD talk-show episodes last night, and that show is off to a healthy start as well:  a 2.0 in 18-49s–nowhere near Walking, but a level any other show on cable would envy–and 4.1M total viewers.

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."