Airing without lead-in support from “The Walking Dead,” Sunday’s “Fear The Walking Dead” predictably fell from last week’s premiere in adults 18-49 and overall viewers.
According to live+same-day data posted by Showbuzz, Sunday’s episode drew a 1.09 adults 18-49 rating and averaged 3.07 million overall viewers.
The numbers markedly trail the 1.63 rating and 4.09 million viewer mark posted by last week’s episode.
They nonetheless top the show’s third season average (0.9 rating, 2.4 million viewers).
Granted, this season of “Fear” has been rebooted into a more conventional “The Walking Dead” spin-off (and even features a crossover character in Morgan). The previous three seasons functioned as a loosely related prequel/auxiliary series.
As such, it was not unreasonable expect non-trivial ratings improvement this year. And insofar as dramas often fall as their seasons progress, there is no guarantee viewership for the current season of “Fear” will remain comfortably ahead of last season’s audience level.
Still, it is doubtful AMC is too concerned. “Fear The Walking Dead” remains a strong performer by conventional cable standards. In terms of Sunday’s cable originals, it beat everything but NBA Playoffs coverage.
It, notably, outperformed HBO’s heavily hyped “Westworld” premiere in the live+same-day ratings (0.89 rating, 2.06 million viewers). While the comparison is not technically apples-to-apples (“Westworld” airs on a premium channel with less reach, and HBO shows tend to receive atypically massive lifts from DVR, encores, on-demand and streaming), big HBO dramas definitely can attract live viewers.
The victory is, therefore, not something to completely dismiss.