It's been just a couple of days since The Walking Dead aired its highly anticipated Season 7 premiere. As expected, a slew of people tuned in to find out who Negan took out with his bat Lucille. However, what we really wanted to know was whether or not The Walking Dead managed to improve on its recent ratings. The answer is, yes, although the show did not hit its highest viewership ever.
Reports this morning indicate that The Walking Dead's Season 7 premiere was the #1 broadcast of the night on Sunday night, which is pretty impressive, considering we are in the middle of football season right now. A whopping 17 million viewers tuned in for the premiere on AMC, and of that 17 million viewers, 10.7 million viewers were in the coveted 18-49 advertising demo. While those numbers are hyper impressive, it should be noted that they aren't record-breaking for the AMC drama. Previously, the Season 5 premiere "No Sanctuary" brought in 17.3 million total viewers.
In the aforementioned advertising demo, Deadline notes that The Walking Dead did achieve its highest rating yet. That 10.7 million younger viewers ensured that the series nabbed an 8.7 rating, which is insane considering that most network shows are lucky to nab a 2.0 rating rating or higher. These numbers aren't even counting the people who tune in and watch the show a few days after it airs. The Walking Dead also generally adds plenty of viewers via DVR and other platforms, so more than 17 million will likely catch the episode this week. We'll let you know when final Live+7 day numbers are revealed by the network.
The bump up in viewership is also a good sign for the AMC drama as a whole. Ratings were down for The Walking Dead during Season 6. As noted prior, the Season 5 premiere was the show's highest-rated episode, and while numbers only dropped a bit during the latter half of Season 5 , they did drop more noticeably last season. We'll have to wait and see if the ratings continue to be high again during Season 7 or if the higher ratings were a result of all of the cliffhanger hype that kept fans on the hook during the long months of waiting for new episodes.
In the meantime, there are plenty of new Walking Dead episodes where this weekend came from. Although the show is down two major characters moving forward, the fact that we are getting way more Negan should be keeping us at the edge of our seats. Next week, we are expected to encounter a whole new side of The Walking Dead that Scott Gimple has described as a little more lighthearted. More on that here.
New episodes of AMC's The Walking Dead air Sunday nights at 9 p.m. ET. To find out what we know about what's coming, check out our Season 7 guide.