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Ratings: The Walking Dead Returns, Beats the Olympics and the Beatles

Competition from the Olympics and the Beatles proved to be no problem for the zombies of AMC's The Walking Dead: Sunday's mid-season premiere still drew a massive 15.8 million viewers at 9 p.m., just a few hundred thousand shy of last fall's record-setting fourth season premiere. Among viewers under 50, Dead matched its past high of an 8.2 rating and actually managed to out-rate NBC's Sochi coverage in their common hour (the Games averaged around a 7.4 rating in the demo). Dead also drew nearly four times the under-50 audience of CBS's Grammy Salute to the Beatles (2.2 rating), while also generating more total viewers than the Fab Four special (14.1 million in the 9 p.m. hour). In terms of overall reach, however, NBC's Olympics still took home the gold, with the Games drawing around 26 million viewers of all ages in the 9 p.m. hour. The Peacock estimates that over 100 million Americans have already watched at least a few minutes of the Olympics.

Photo: Gene Page/AMC