We still don’t know the fate of Glenn Rhee, but we certainly know who the chief clipper of the fall is – and we don’t mean Chris Paul. We also know that Sunday’s The Walking Dead and the premiere of Into The Badlands proved to be a good night for AMC.
The November 15 sixth episode of the sixth season of Walking Dead drew 12.9 million total viewers with 8.3 million among adults 18-49 for a 6.51 rating. The show saw a bop up of 3% in its overall audience and 5% in the demo over last week
Compared to the November 16, 2014 sixth episode of Season 5, this week’s “Always Accountable” episode dipped 8% in total viewership and 11% in the key demo. However, up against fellow heavyweight Sunday Night Football, this week’s Norman Reedus centric TWD was basically steady. The NBC game, which saw the Arizona Cardinals beat the Seattle Seahawks 39-32, posted a 7.0 rating among the 18-49s, a 7% gain over TWD and down 17% from its November 8 performance. In total viewership, SNF had an audience of 19.4 million.
With a rising TWD as a primo lead-in, Into The Badlands came roaring out of the gate at 10 PM with 6.4 million viewers and 3.994 million among 18-49s for a 3.15 rating. Ahead of Supergirl and Blindspot’s 3.1 ratings result by a hair, that makes the post-apocalyptic martial arts series the top-rated new series of the fall on either cable or broadcast. With Daniel Wu as an assassin warrior (called Clippers on the show) named Sunny, Badlands had a very sunny start — it also marked the best fall debut AMC has ever had.
Yes, Into The Badlands dropped 52% of its 9 PM lead-in’s demo and 50% of its viewership. However, that’s actually only 5% more than Better Call Saul’s demo fall from its TWD lead-in when the Breaking Bad prequel debuted on February 8 this year.
In fact, with a highly teased sneak peek at the season’s penultimate TWD episode deep in its first half-hour, Badlands is the fourth-best cable demo debut ever and the third AMC series in that top four list. The top debut among 18-49s is the August 23 start of Fear The Walking Dead (6.3 million), followed by Better Call Saul (4.4 million), and then 2002’s USA’s The Dead Zone (4.034 million) from the non-DVR past.
For the record and you Walker fans, TWD is No. 7 with 3.567 million among adults 18-49 tuning in for the October 31, 2010 debut of the series based on Robert Kirkman’s comics.
AMC, like several other cablers, doesn’t like to release Live+Same Day numbers nowadays, going more for the delayed viewing of Live+3 results. That might be where the real kick is for Into The Badlands later this week.