The Rio Olympics may have proved less than medal-worthy for NBC in the ratings, but it was a mixed result on cable Sunday with Starz’s Power jolting double-digits in viewers, and the midseason return of AMC’s Fear The Walking Dead getting a bite taken out of it.
In overall numbers, the Season 2 return of The Walking Dead spinoff after three months away was still a powerhouse, with 3.86 million total viewers and a 1.6 rating among adults 18-49 in the 9 PM hour on August 20. However, with the extravaganza in Rio in full tap- delayed swing at that point on NBC, the “Grotesque” episode was down 12% from the last FearTWD original of May 22 to hit a series viewership low. While still the No. 2 drama in non-subscriber cable (behind TWD) in the key demo, the Robert Kirkman- and Dave Erikson-created series took a 15% tumble from its Season 2 midseason finale in late spring.
A tumble is far from what Power saw Sunday in that same 9 PM slot.
Coming off the death of Lucy Walter’s Holly character on August 14, the premium cabler’s most-watched original series snagged 2.1 million viewers in its initial showing Sunday. That’s a 17% rise from the week before and the best the Courtney Kemp-created Power has done since its Season 3 premiere on July 17. In fact, the latest episode is the second most watched episode of any Starz original ever.
In the 18-49 demo, Sunday’s revenge-rich Power went up a tenth from its August 14 show to a 1.0 with 1.21 million watching.
As for the down but still dominate Olympics, NBC pulled in a 4.3 demo rating in the 9 PM slot. Overall, the Rio 2016 Closing Ceremonies had just under 17 million viewers with a 4.1 rating – way down from London 2012.