The return of Fear the Walking Dead for its fifth season on Sunday may have been the third-best cable drama premiere of the season, but compared with last year, it bit.
With 3 million total viewers in Live+3 results from Nielsen, The Walking Dead spinoff was down a hard 47% from the delayed audience numbers of the Season 4 opener, which had the much hyped The Walking Dead Season 8 finale and the disappearance of Rick Grimes as its lead-in.
Drilling down more and with a mild tease of its own about the fate of Andrew Lincoln’s character, the June 2 FearTWD “Here To Help” debut snared 1.2 million viewers in the 18-49 demographic and 1.5 million among adults 25-54.
In the law of diminishing returns in today’s ratings environment, AMC sees a small win in all this when comparing the FearTWD premiere to the overall average of the second half of Season 4. In that context, the Season 5 opener is down 6% from the Season 4 finale of September 30 last year, while it had a 4% viewership uptick in Live+3 numbers from the “People Like Us” midseason premiere of August 12, 2018.
On another footing and also on June 2, the kickoff of AMC’s new horror series NOS4A2 delivered reasonable results as the second-best cable drama opener this season. The series based on Joe Hill’s novel and starring Ashleigh Cummings and Zachary Quinto drew 1.9 million total viewers and an audience of 887,000 in the 25-54 demo.