If there was ever proof positive of genre television series taking back the airwaves, it’s this: AMC has revealed via press release that the season five premiere of “The Walking Dead” reached 17.3 million viewers — 11 million in the coveted 18-49 demographic — beating everything else in its slot, including Sunday Night Football. “The Walking Dead” beat Sunday Night Football by 2.5 million viewers in the 18-49 demo.
“It’s a Dead man’s party. Who could ask for more?” Charlie Collier, AMC president said via press release. “Enormous thanks to our friends and executive producers Robert Kirkman, Scott Gimple, Greg Nicotero — who also directed last night’s terrific premiere – Gale Anne Hurd, Dave Alpert and Tom Luse and all of their fellow producers, cast and crew for everything they do to make the #1 show on television such a unique and incredible experience for the fans. ‘The Walking Dead’ is one of those increasingly rare shows today that can command a live audience not significantly cannibalized by time-shifted viewing. Who would have thought that cannibalized television could be curtailed by cannibal-ized television?”
The high viewership and ratings continues a massive surge for the series, which just got renewed for a sixth season and has a companion series pilot on the way. The season premiere brought in an incredible number of viewers, well up from new viewership records set by season four.