The Walking Dead premiered with lackluster ratings by comparison to previous years on Sunday night but the downed numbers are slightly misleading.
AMC points out that Sunday was particularly competitive with sports programming and they also made the season 9 premiere available on its AMC Premiere commercial-free option 24 hours before its linear airing. It was also down 23 percent from last April's finale, notable since even for many other shows that have seen ratings fall, their series premieres managed to eke out small gains over their finales. That's down 47 percent from last year's Season 8 premiere, which was watched live by 11.4 million viewers, and down about 11 million total viewers from the cliffhanger-resolving Season 7 premiere. The bad news, though, is that far fewer people watched it than anyone could have expected. And it typically performs well in delayed viewing.
While still the second highest-rated show on TV behind NBC's This Is Us in the key demo, that's a lot of premiere numbers and perhaps a long-ish way of saying The Walking Dead's blockbuster days seem to be behind it, reset or not.
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In the first four innings of the game, three plays that he called at first base were overturned. "Everybody was rooting for him". Darling said after Benintendi stole second base, "Well, I guess [that's] from the school of never taking anything for granted".
We may find out exactly how many fans that was later this week if AMC provide some of that AMC Premiere data with Live + 3 numbers. Plus, AMC made the premiere available 24 hours ahead of its time slot premiere on its AMC Premiere streaming service, and Deadline reports that the streaming service had its biggest ever day in sign-ups on October 6, the day prior to the premiere. While the numbers for AMC Premiere viewers have not yet been released (unclear if they will be), the audience which narrowly topped 6 million live viewers for the weakest premiere in the series' history might not be an accurate indication of the show's strength.
While the title of the The Walking Dead Season 9 premiere may have - in its very title - touted "A New Beginning", said beginning got off to a rough start for the veteran AMC series. And while secondary to the human toll it took on everyone who suddenly found themselves out of work, it also left fans of The Walking Dead video game in the dark about what would happen with the last, unfinished episodes for The Final Season, the conclusion of Clementine's story.
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