The zombie apocalypse relentlessly moved upward and took over TV again last night. The Walking Dead returned for its fourth season on Sunday to series record viewership. Airing at 9 PM, the AMC show was watched by 16.1 million with 10.4 million among adults 18-49. While NBC’s Sunday Night Football airing of the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys vs. Washington Redskins game last night was watched by 19.65 million according to fast nationals from Nielsen, it had 9.32 million viewers among adults 18-49. That means right now, The Walking Dead’s 8.2 18-49 rating beat the game’s 7.3 and everything else on primetime broadcast and cable TV in the key demo this season so far. The Walking Dead’s Season 3 debut on October 14, 2012 was watched by 10.9 million viewers and 7.3 million in the 18-49 and 25-54 demos. Thought better later in the season, those were records for the show at the time and then the most-watched drama telecast in basic cable history. However, written by new showrunner Scott Gimple, who took over from the exited Glen Mazzara in January, Sunday’s “30 Days Without An Accident” episode bested the Season 3 finale of the drama that was the cable powerhouse’s previous series high. That March 31st episode was watched by 12.4 million viewers and 8.1 million among the key demo. Before that, the 12.3 million and 6.8 million among adults 18-49 who watched The Walking Dead’s Season 3 mid-cycle premiere on February 11 was the series high for the show that has constantly beat big Big 4 network shows like Modern Family, The Big Bang Theory and NCISin the vital demo. Sunday’s premiere also topped the series high of 10.3 million viewers and 6.7 million in the key demo that Breaking Bad’s heavily promoted and anticipated finale got for AMC on September 29. In metered markets, The Walking Dead got a 7.5/11 last night, way up from the 5.4/8 the series had for its last season opener last October.
Subscribe to Deadline Breaking News Alerts and keep your inbox happy.