“The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live” Finally Gives AMC’s Universe Good Viewership News Again


It’s no secret that AMC’s “The Walking Dead” wasn’t the ratings powerhouse it used to be as the main show got longer and longer in the tooth, but recently the network has made the smart decision to dial in on the characters and legacy storylines that audiences do still care about. That’s how we’ve ended up with spinoff shows like “Daryl Dixon” and “Dead City,” which lean heavily on marquee star power to bring burnt out fans back into the universe.

The latest example of this spinoff trend is “The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live,” which premiered this past Sunday night on AMC and AMC+. The series brings back Andrew Lincoln’s Rick Grimes and Danai Gurira’s Michonne, charting the epic love story between the two main series characters and documenting their struggle to reunite amidst a zombie hell.

“The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live” debuted last week with critical acclaim – Bloody Disgusting’s review hailed the premiere episode as both “exceptional” and “emotional” – and it sounds like it was also a ratings success for AMC. For the first time in what seems like a long time, AMC is proudly advertising the viewership numbers for “The Walking Dead” again.

The Wrap reports that the premiere episode “delivered 3 million viewers during its premiere week, according to Nielsen Live +3 ratings.” The website notes for further context, “These premiere ratings are the biggest AMC has seen for a new show in six years.”

“Additionally,” The Wrap continues, “the first episode of “The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live” is the most-watched episode of any show on the [AMC+] platform. Though AMC didn’t give any specific numbers, the two-day viewership total for the premiere has already outpaced the first week of viewership for any season premiere on the platform.”

“On Sunday, we had an incredible reunion of ‘TWD’ giants: Rick and Michonne — and the fans of ‘The Walking Dead,’ both old and new,” longtime franchise architect Scott M. Gimple said in a press release this week. “Danai and Andy’s mind-blowing work in front of and behind the camera, along with the efforts of a truly wonderful cast and crew was all for an audience we asked to believe just a little bit longer. We’re grateful they did.”

“What a start for ‘The Ones Who Live,’ the biggest episode of television in the history of AMC+ for both viewership and customer acquisition, the top cable drama of the current TV season in key demos and our biggest AMC series premiere in six years,” Dan McDermott, president of entertainment for AMC Studios for AMC Networks, added in the same press release. “This is a show the world, and particularly the incredibly passionate and engaged fans of this universe, have been waiting for and essentially willed into existence.

“Thanks to Danai, Andy and Scott for everything it took to get here and all that is yet to come. We can’t wait to share the rest of this incredible season with the fans over the next five weeks.”

New episodes of “The Ones Who Live” premiere Sunday nights on AMC and AMC+.

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