It might have generated significant buzz at the water cooler (or “coffee machine” buzz for the “Seinfeld” fans out there), but Sunday’s “The Walking Dead” did not enjoy a significant ratings uptick.

The episode, which featured the emotional deaths of Mika and Lizzie Samuels, attracted 12.9 million total viewers. Last week’s telecast, which did not enjoy nearly as much proactive or reactive buzz, averaged a comparable 12.7 million.

Sunday’s “TWD” also enjoyed a slight gain in the adults 18-49 demographic. Bettering last week’s demo audience of 8.0 million (which translated into a 6.3 rating), this week’s episode garnered 8.1 million young adult watchers (and thus likely scored a 6.4 adults 18-49 rating).

Because fans, no matter the promotion, do not precisely know what will happen in an episode until it airs, it would be misguided to judge the impact of the Mika and Lizzie deaths (and the startling tone of the episode as a whole) solely on the basis of this week’s rating. An uptick for next week’s episode would also serve as a testament to this week’s resonance.

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