Fans may have moaned about the allegedly “manipulative” season six cliffhanger but the controversy did nothing to damage the viewing figures for the season seven premiere, and the speculation has lead to record ratings in the UK and an upswing in ratings in the States.
1.43 million tuned in for the return of The Walking Dead on FOX UK. That was 59 per cent up on season six opener after its first 24 hours and is on track to be the highest-rated show on the channel in its 14 year history
The UK 9pm transmission was the highest rated show in Pay TV and also bigger than the audience for Channel 5 at the same time.
“Since its launch, this global phenomenon has continued to increase its audience year on year,”said Jeff Ford, UK MD, Fox Networks Group Europe & Africa, before adding, “However for last night’s episode to deliver the highest ratings of any series launch in the channel’s history is testament to The Walking Dead’s status as the number one TV show in the world. Along with the new season of American Horror Story, American Dad and the debut of the highly anticipated new X-Men spin off Legion in the new year, fans know that FOX UK is the home for the best entertainment, first.”
Meanwhile, in the States 17 million viewers watched the season seven premiere, according to The Hollywood Reporter, which is on a par with the season five premiere in 2014. However, it was up 16 per cent on the season six premiere and 20 per cent on the season six finale. Which in this era of dwindling audiences is phenomenal. It’s also double the second highest-rated premiere this season, after Empire’s season three premiere.