The Walking Dead Season Seven Premiere Debuts to 20.8 Million Viewers

AMC’s The Walking Dead returned for its seventh season Sunday night, solidified as the number one show on television by a wide and expanding margin for a fifth consecutive season, with strong growth from the season six premiere and finale in total viewers and key demographics. An expanded 90-minute episode of Talking Dead, presented live from the Hollywood Forever Cemetery in front of 2,500 fans, became the highest-rated Talking Dead ever among adults 25-54 and second highest in total viewers and adults 18-49.

In Nielsen live+3 ratings, The Walking Dead season seven premiere delivered 20.8 million total viewers, 13.2 million adults 18-49 (a national rating of 10.3) and 13 million adults 25-54 (a national rating of 10.8), growth of 7 percent in total viewers from the season six premiere, 3 percent in adults 18-49 and 7 percent in adults 25-54. From the season six finale, the premiere grew 13 percent in total viewers, 14 percent in adults 18-49 and 11 percent in adults 25-54.

In Nielsen live+3 ratings, Talking Dead, the live aftershow hosted by Chris Hardwick that follows every episode of the Walking Dead and the #2 show on cable television, delivered 8.7 million total viewers, 5.4 million adults 18-49 (a national rating of 4.2) and 5.5 million adults 25-54 (a national rating of 4.6), up 35 percent, 29 percent and 38 percent, respectively, from the Talking Dead season six premiere.

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“When millions of fans come together at almost exactly the same time to share a story – a story elevated, that viewers anticipate and have time to let sink in and discuss, moments we collectively feel – it’s as good as television gets and a reminder of the power of weekly storytelling,” said Charlie Collier, president of AMC, SundanceTV and AMC Studios. “This week, ‘The Walking Dead’ once again provided that for all of us. Rest in peace, Glenn and Abraham. You will never be forgotten.”

In addition to the linear viewing, The Walking Dead season seven premiere saw record viewership on digital platforms, generating nearly 2.5 million views through this morning.