Can a visceral, full blown horror pilot make it on TV? The answer for AMC’s The Walking Dead is a resounding yes. To be safe we’ll have to wait and see what the numbers look like on a day that is NOT Halloween, but for the moment The Walking Dead has lit up the wire with some impressive numbers.
Amazingly enough The Walking Dead, AMC’s first wholly owned original, posted better numbers than the cable channel’s most celebrated hits Mad Men and Breaking Bad. Here is all of the data – and gloating – from AMC.
Last night’s premiere of AMC’s original series, ‘The Walking Dead’resulted in a 3.7 HH rating netting over 5.3 total million viewers making it the largest audience for any original series on the network. The Adults 18-49 demo garnered 3.6 million viewers making it the highest delivery for any cable series premiere for 2010.
Key Ratings Highlights for The Walking Dead:
– 10pm airing – 3.7 HH rating with 5.3 million total viewers;
– 10 pm, 11:30 pm and 1am airings – Cumed to a 6.0 HH rating with 8.1 million viewers;
– Adults 25-54 – 3.1 million viewers;
– Adults 18-49 – 3.6 million viewers;
– Adults 18-34 – 2.1 million viewers.
‘It’s a good day to be dead. We are so proud of this series, its depth of storytelling and the remarkable talent attached,’said Charlie Collier, AMC’s president. ‘As the network dedicated to bringing viewers the best stories on television, we are so pleased to have the opportunity with ‘˜The Walking Dead’to raise the bar within this popular genre and continue our commitment to being the home of premium television on basic cable.’
”The Walking Dead’is that rare piece of programming that works on so many levels. It is legitimately great storytelling that is not only highly entertaining, but incredibly thought provoking as well. People who are familiar with the comic books know what’s coming, but suffice it to say, this is only the beginning of a long, intense, and powerful ride. Long live ‘˜The Walking Dead’,’said Joel Stillerman, AMC’s SVP of original programming, production and digital content.
AMC’s first wholly-owned original production, ‘The Walking Dead’premiered globally on October 31 through an unprecedented partnership with AMC and Fox International Channels. Similar to a theatrical film release, all Fox International Channels are launching the premiere episode this week, resulting in the series’debuting in 120 countries and in 33 languages.
The Walking Dead premiered as part of AMC FEARFEST, the most highly anticipated horror movie marathon of the Halloween season. The network’s two-week marathon featured nearly 300 hours of horror-themed programming, including more than 60 films. The marathon aired October 18 through October 31, culminating with the 90-minute world premiere of ‘The Walking Dead.’
‘The Walking Dead’is based on the comic book series written by Robert Kirkman and published by Image Comics. Kirkman serves as an executive producer on the project and three-time Academy Award-nominee Frank Darabont (The Shawshank Redemption, The Green Mile) serves as writer, director and executive producer. Gale Anne Hurd (The Terminator, Aliens, Armageddon, The Incredible Hulk), chairman of Valhalla Motion Pictures, serves as Executive Producer. David Alpert from Circle of Confusion serves as Executive Producer. Today’s announcement also includes the addition of Charles ‘Chic’Eglee (Dexter, The Shield, Dark Angel) as Executive Producer.
‘The Walking Dead’tells the story of the months and years that follow after a zombie apocalypse. It follows a group of survivors, led by police officer Rick Grimes, who travel in search of a safe and secure home. The comic goes on to explore the challenges of life in a world overrun by zombies who take a toll on the survivors, and sometimes the interpersonal conflicts present a greater danger to their continuing survival than the zombies that roam the country. Over time, the characters are changed by the constant exposure to death and some grow willing to do anything to survive.
‘The Walking Dead’received rave reviews from countless critics, who heralded the series as ‘visually stunning…and daring in its artful use of silence'(TV Guide), ‘…breathtaking in its small moments, in which the pain and glory of being human are conveyed with only the flick of a filmmaking wrist.” (Wall Street Journal), “…evocative, suspenseful” (Boston Globe) “…surprisingly scary and remarkably good” (The New York Times) “…a triumph of tone and mood” (Contra Costa Times) and ‘a real achievement for a horror show on a basic-cable network” (Rolling Stone). In addition, ‘The Walking Dead’received ‘4 Stars’from People and ‘3 Stars’from the New York Daily News and New York Post, among other outlets.