Ratings: “The Walking Dead” Falls Against Oscars, Still Rules Cable

“The Walking Dead” endured a loss in live+same-day viewership but still ranked as cable’s top Sunday show.

The Walking Dead | Gene Page/AMC

As it was the follow-up to a midseason premiere, Sunday’s “The Walking Dead” was all but certain to endure a week-to-week decline in live+same-day viewership.

And while the Academy Awards ceremony has never taken a huge bite out of “The Walking Dead” (and this year’s edition was weak by Oscars standards), its presence was obviously not going to help matters for AMC’s flagship drama.

Sunday’s “TWD,” indeed, suffered drops in adults 18-49 and overall viewership.

According to L+SD data posted by Showbuzz, Sunday’s “Dead” drew a 2.86 adults 18-49 rating and averaged 6.82 million overall viewers.

The numbers trail the 3.64 rating and 8.28 million viewer mark posted by last week’s broadcast.

This week’s live+same-day viewership tally, moreover, ranks as the show’s lowest mark since season two.

Despite the decline from last week (and from the show’s peak), “The Walking Dead” still dominated the Sunday cable race. It was the day’s top original program in both adults 18-49 and overall viewership.

Its success is not restricted to a daily cable context. Sunday’s “TWD” has a good chance of ranking as TV’s #1 scripted series (in adults 18-49) for the entire broadcast week.

That competitive success, it should be noted, is based strictly on its live+same-day performance. “TWD” will also receive customarily huge lifts from DVR, encore and multi-platform viewing.

Those points notwithstanding, the decreased live+same-day ratings clearly suggest that “The Walking Dead” — whether due to pure fatigue (the show is in its eighth season) or resistance to the current narrative — is not the must-see attraction it once was.

— Sunday’s “The Walking Dead” led into “Talking Dead,” which drew a 1.06 in the demo and 2.65 million in overall viewership.

Written by Brian Cantor

Brian Cantor is the editor-in-chief for Headline Planet. He has been a leading reporter in the music, movie, television and sporting spaces since 2002.

Brian's reporting has been cited by major websites like BuzzFeed, Billboard, the New Yorker and The Fader -- and shared by celebrities like Taylor Swift, Justin Bieber and Nicki Minaj.

Contact Brian at brian.cantor[at]


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