Ratings: The Walking Dead Finale Attracts Massive Viewership

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Photo: Gene Page/AMC

The Walking Dead scored predictably massive ratings on Sunday: 15.7 million viewers watched the season four finale, making it the most-watched finale yet for AMC’s zom-dram. The episode earned an 8.0 rating among viewers under 50, crushing all broadcast and cable competition Sunday and easily making Dead the No. 1 show on all of TV last week. If you stand outside AMC’s Seventh Avenue headquarters this afternoon, you can practically hear the cash registers going “ka-ching!” as the network’s advertising execs start adding up how much money they’ll rake in for season five.

Still, it is worth noting this about Dead’s Sunday performance: It’s the first time a finale for the show hasn’t surpassed that season’s premiere (last fall’s return was seen by 16.1 million same-day viewers). This may be a sign the show’s nonstop Nielsen momentum has peaked. But even if it has, Dead is still a juggernaut, having seen its viewership grow by nearly 25 percent this season. Its halo effect also is broad. At 10 p.m., Talking Dead drew a series-best 7.3 million viewers and a 3.7 rating among viewers under 50. And following a Walking Dead encore at 11 p.m., AMC reality show Comic Book Men notched 1.1 million viewers and a 0.6 among viewers under 50. While that’s a fraction of the audience for Dead, it still represents a bigger same-day demo rating than last week’s episodes of FX’s The Americans (0.4) or Comedy Central’s Broad City (0.5), both of which aired in prime time.

The Walking Dead Finale’s Ratings Were Massive