WARNING - MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS!
It looks like there’s no stopping AMC’s smash hit zombie series The Walking Dead which blasted back onto American TV screens on Sunday night (13th) with not only its highest season premier rating to date but its highest audience figure ever. ‘30 Days Without An Accident’, an extraordinarily tense and thrilling instalment of the show which introduced new characters into the secure prison fortress setting established by Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) and his dwindling band of zombie apocalypse survivors, pulled in an astonishing 16.1 million viewers, 8.2 million of whom were nestled comfortably in the much-coveted 18-49 advertising demographic. Season three, which concluded in March this year, pulled in an impressive 12.4 million; the show has effectively attracted 4 million new viewers to the start of its fourth season. What’s most staggering about the numbers the show is pulling in is the fact that The Walking Dead airs on AMC, a so-called ‘basic cable’ channel which has already been making waves this year with the huge ratings attained by its acclaimed drama Breaking Bad which saw its final season figures rise dramatically from under 3 million viewers to just over ten million for its concluding instalment ‘Felina’ which aired on 29th September in the US. The Walking Dead’s figures, of course, dwarf even Breaking Bad’s achievements and will be a huge vote of confidence for Scott Gimble, the series’ latest showrunner (and writer of the record-breaking episode) who took over from Glen Mazzara earlier this year. If The Walking Dead can maintain the quality of this first episode - we’ll just briefly mention the supermarket showdown and leave it there for now - The Walking Dead could well be jostling for position alongside Network comedy giant The Big Bang Theory which regularly pulls in audiences of between 18 - 20 million. We’d imagine that AMC are already on their knees begging for a fifth season of The Walking Dead as well as fast-tracking a rumoured spin-off series set in the parent show’s fictional Universe.
The Walking Dead airs at 10pm on the Fox Channel in the UK from Friday 18th October.
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