Despite airing against the ratings juggernaut that is the Grammys, AMC’s mid-season debut of “The Walking Dead” managed to scare up 15.6 million viewers Sunday night, equaling the show’s previous mid-season debut according to The Hollywood Reporter. In fact, the Grammys were the only show to draw more viewers for the entire week, illustrating just how strong a competition they provided the zombie-filled drama.
And the good news for AMC doesn’t don’t stop there — “Better Call Saul,” the heavily anticipated “Breaking Bad” spinoff, took advantage of its “Walking Dead” lead-in, had the highest rated cable television debut in history. The Bob Odenkirk-led drama’s pilot drew in 6.9 million viewers and an 8.0 rating. The series’ second episode — and first big ratings test — arrives tonight.
While “The Walking Dead” debut may not have been a record setter, things are hardly looking bad for the series. As noted by THR, the premiere was stronger than those for December’s mid-season finale. And once the DVR numbers are factored in later this week, there could be a considerable spike from households who decided the fate of Rick, Tyreese, Michonne and the rest could wait a day or two while they watched Taylor Swift, Kanye and the rest of the music industry perform and accept their awards.
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