SPOILER ALERT: This story contains details of the November 22 episode of The Walking Dead.
Fans of the zombie apocalypse series were all atwitter, literally and figuratively, over what would be the fate of Steven Yeun’s Glenn Rhee character after what seemed like a fatal fall into a plethora of Walkers on October 25. On Sunday, they found out the fate of The Walking Dead core character, and they showed up en masse, with the penultimate episode of Season 6’s 2015 run of the AMC blockbuster drawing 13.2 million total viewers with 8.4 million in the adults 18-49 demo for a 6.7 rating.
With a 3% rise in the demo and total audience over its November 15 show, that’s the second increase in a row for the series based on Robert Kirkman’s comics. It is also a victory over Sunday Night Football by 5% among 18-49s – that makes TWD the No. 1 overall show on TV, something it has achieved far fewer times this season compared to last year. Of course in total viewership, a slumping SNF still topped the night with an audience of 18.0 million.
Compared to Season 5’s “Crossed” episode on November 23, 2014, that was the second-to-last episode of that year, Sunday’s “Heads Up” was basically steady with just a 4% demo dip. TWD ends the first part of its sixth season November 29 and returns February 14.
As for 10 PM lead-out Into The Badlands, the freshman martial arts series saw a predictable drop from its November 15 premiere. Despite juicing the show with hungry TWD fans by having the first words from Yeun on his character fate in its first commercial, Badlands had a 28% demo drop from its debut. The second episode of the six-episode first season pulled in 4.8 million viewers with 2.9 million in 18-49 for a 2.3 rating.
With heavily promoted interviews with Yeun plus TWD executive producers Gale Anne Hurd and Scott Gimple, aftershow Talking Dead was basically steady with last week. Pushed back to 11 PM now that Badlands is on the scene, Talking Dead had 3.2 million total viewers and 2 million adults 18-49.