While still a ratings monster (and by far the top-rated affair on television), Sunday’s midseason “The Walking Dead” premiere was not as strong as the corresponding episode from last year.
Per Nielsen L+SD data, the episode drew a 6.75 adults 18-49 rating and 13.742 million total viewers. The numbers trail the 7.98 rating and 15.643 million viewership mark posted by the February 8, 2015 midseason premiere.
Those numbers were themselves down slightly from the 2014 performance (8.17, 15.76 million).
This year’s midseason premiere aired on Valentine’s Day, which doubtfully did any favors from a ratings standpoint. It was not a ratings behemoth (2.72, 6.181 million), but the NBA All-Star Game may have pulled away some potential “Walking Dead” viewers.
Last year’s midseason premiere did not, however, air without a challenge — it faced CBS’ mammoth Grammy Awards broadcast.
Sunday’s “Walking Dead” led into “Talking Dead,” which drew a 3.10 rating and 6.442 million total viewers. Last year’s midseason premiere led into the launch of “Better Call Saul.”