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The Walking Dead just reached the halfway point of its fifth season, and if the numbers are any indication -- or the most obvious one, anyway -- the series' is still growing its audience. While Season 5's fall finale wasn't an all-time ratings high for the AMC zombie drama, it was the series' highest mid-season finale viewership to date, boasting close to 15 million viewers for "Coda."
According to Deadline, The Walking Dead faced off against Sunday Night Football once again this season and closed out the first half of its fifth season to an audience of 14.8 million viewers (7.6 rating), 9.6 million of which fell into the 18-49 demo.
14.8 million is a couple million viewers shy of the series' 17.3 million viewers during its Season 5 finale. But we need to consider the big picture here to note the continued rise in viewership for the series. Here's how the past mid-season finales have played out in the numbers...
Season 1 finale (December 2010) - 5.97 million viewers.
Season 2 fall finale (November 2011) - 6.6 million viewers.
Season 3 fall finale (December 2012) - 10.5 million viewers.
Season 4 fall finale (December 2013) - 12.05 million viewers.
Season 5 fall finale - 14.8 million viewers.
That puts Season 5's midseason finale up two million viewers by comparison to Season 4. If the season continues to perform well, we might expect The Walking Dead to draw in its best viewership yet when the fifth season comes to a close next spring. We'll have to wait and see. But it's especially interesting to note the continued upward trend of the series' numbers. The Walking Dead is well into its fifth season and numerically, it doesn't seem to have peaked yet. If it has, it's happening now, but I'm inclined to think (or hope) that viewership is still on the rise, and we'll see that next record broken when the fifth season wraps up.
Spoilers if you haven't seen The Walking Dead Season 5, Episode 8 ("Coda").
The Walking Dead was very clearly building up to something big leading in to last night's fall finale, even by normal scripted standards. The danger seemed to be at an all-time high this season, as the characters faced one challenge after another, including cannibals. Though one supporting character met their demise between the fifth season premiere and last night's episode, the likelihood seemed high that someone else would go. And sure enough, in the final moments of "Coda," Beth took a stand against (and a scissor to) Dawn, and received a bullet to the head in return. RIP Beth. And going back a few episodes, RIP Bob too.
Read our breakdown of last night's episode here, and watch the trailer for Season 5.5 here.