When AMC debuted “Fear the Walking Dead,” its spinoff to its time-tested hit “The Walking Dead,” no one was quite sure if anyone would bother watching. Now it seems that not only did people watch, but the show officially enjoyed the most successful premiere in cable TV history.
According to TV Line, the 90 minute premiere of “Fear the Walking Dead” debuted to a mind boggling audience of 10.1 million viewers. Among the highly coveted 18-49 age range, the pilot episode scored a 4.7 rating - another record for a series premiere. To put this number in perspective, the original Oct. 31, 2010 premiere of “The Walking Dead” only drew 5.3 million viewers and a 2.7 rating in the 18-49 demographic. The “Fear” premiere was even on par with the Season 5 finale of “The Walking Dead” which raked in an impressive 15.8 million and an 8.2 demo score.
“Thank you and congratulations to Robert Kirkman, Dave Erickson, the brilliant executive producers and the entire cast and crew of ‘Fear the Walking Dead,’” Charlie Collier, president of AMC said (via Entertainment Weekly). “It is increasingly difficult to evaluate a show’s success on night one. However, we are releasing these live/same day ratings because ‘Fear the Walking Dead’ delivered record-breaking numbers that are all the more special in this era of time-shifted viewing and audience fragmentation.”
Collier went on to say that everyone involved with the show truly has the fans to thank for giving the bold new “companion series” a shot in the first place.
It looks like “Fear the Walking Dead” is a decided hit given the viewership numbers. However, it’s worth mentioning that its reception from critics was only lukewarm at best. “Fear the Walking Dead” picks up at the start of the mysterious outbreak of the zombie apocalypse from “The Walking Dead.” It follows a blended yet broken family in Los Angeles as they fight their own personal demons to survive the oncoming end of the world. The question now is simply whether or not “Fear the Walking Dead” will carry over its viewership throughout the next five episodes that remain in Season 1.
Will you be watching the rest of “Fear the Walking Dead”? Check out the teaser trailer for episode 2 and comment below or tweet your thoughts to @TylerMcCarthy.