There was an attempt at new allegiances, explosive highway antics and a visit from Negan’s Saviors on the Season 7 winter return of The Walking Dead on February 12. Along with that came good ratings news for the zombie apocalypse series.
The Greg Nicotero-directed “Rock In The Road’”episode Sunday pulled in 12 million total viewers with 7.3 million in the adults 18-49 demo for a 5.7 rating.
Facing the Grammys for the first time in two years, the AMC show based on the Robert Kirkman-created comics was up 13% in overall sets of eyeballs compared to its winter finale of December 11, 2016 which faced Sunday Night Football. Among the key demo, TWD rose 12% against the “Hearts Still Beating” eighth episode of Season 7 late last year.
That’s the first time a midseason return of TWD has been up from the winter finale since Season 4 came back from its two-month and one-week break on February 9, 2014. After a season that so far has seen double-digit declines for the still highest rated series on TV following a near record-breaking start last fall, any upward movement is a move in the right direction for TWD and AMC.
Having said that, Sunday’s TWD S7 return declined 13% in total viewers and 14% in the 18-49s from the Season 6 return of February 14 last year. That “No Way Out” holiday weekend episode did not face the Grammys, which CBS moved to a Monday in 2016, but it did have to contend with a high-scoring NBA All-Star Game and Kobe Bryant’s last appearance on that court.
Like many a cabler and a couple of broadcast nets, AMC put their stock in delayed viewing results not Live+Same Day numbers, so lets see what TWD‘s Live+3 have to say later this week.