AMC’s ‘Fear the Walking Dead’ Takes A Bite Out of Cable Ratings History

Lexi Johnson as Gloria - Fear the Walking Dead _ Season 1, Episode 1 - Photo Credit: Justin Lubin/AMC

AMC had nothing to fear about Fear the Walking Dead.

The Sunday night premiere of The Walking Dead companion series shattered cable records, averaging 10.1 million viewers–making it the top-rated series premiere in cable history.

The 90-minute launch also delivered 6.3 million viewers in the key adults 18-49 demographic, also the biggest ever for cable.

Fear the Walking Dead broke the ratings record in adults 18-49 set earlier this year with AMC’s Better Call Saul (4.4 million).

In comparison, the 2010 premiere of The Walking Dead averaged 5.4 million viewers–which means Fear doubled that tally.

“Thank you and congratulations to Robert Kirkman, Dave Erickson, the brilliant executive producers and the entire cast and crew of Fear the Walking Dead,” said Charlie Collier, president of AMC and SundanceTV. “It is increasingly difficult to evaluate a show’s success on night one. However, we are releasing these live/same day ratings because ear the Walking Dead’ delivered record-breaking numbers that are all the more special in this era of time-shifted viewing and audience fragmentation. To have a companion series to the No. 1 show on television driving communal, urgent viewing, social activity and pop cultural relevance of this magnitude is truly differentiating. Of course none of it is possible without the fans, whose passion leads to these remarkable results.”

A special episode of Talking Dead, airing before the Fear premiere, averaged 4.2 million viewers and 2.5 million adults 18-49.

Fear the Walking Dead runs for six episodes this fall, then returns next year with 15 episodes in season 2.