"The Walking Dead" concluded its sixth season with a divisive 90-minute finale last week. Though fans and critics alike were disappointed with the end results, AMC certainly wasn't. Last Sunday's episode drew in 18.4 million total viewers and 11.5 million adults in the coveted 18-49 demographic (9.1 U.S. rating) when taking the Nielsen Live+3 day ratings into consideration. The finale is expected to add another one million additional digital views when all is said and done.
These numbers cement "The Walking Dead" as the No. 1 rated television show among adults 18-49, with a weekly Live+3 day viewership at 18 million total viewers, 11.5 million adults aged 18-49 and 11.3 million adults aged 25-54. Wow, that's impressive. It also course corrects what was a mild dip in Live/Same Day ratings that may have made AMC nervous just a bit.
"The Walking Dead's" after show, "Talking Dead," also delivered a sizeable 7.4 million viewers in Live+3 day ratings, including 4.5 million adults in the 18-49 key demo (3.5 U.S. rating) and 4.7 million adults aged 25-54. AMC president Charlie Collier was ecstatic with his flagship show's performance, saying:
"We know how rare it is to have the #1 show on television for four years running and to share a season six finale on AMC with more than 18 million fans, to say nothing of the passionate and appreciated conversations that followed. So as we close this season, first and foremost, a heartfelt thank you is on all of our minds. Thank you to everyone who makes The Walking Dead possible, from those working the Los Angeles-Senoia-New York 'zombie triangle' to our fans around the world. We now put down Lucille for a while and leave the 'at bats' to baseball until our October return."
"The Walking Dead" generated a 30 percent (4.2 million) increase in viewership when Live+3 Day ratings were compared to the Live/Same Day ratings. Not only that, but "The Walking Dead" season six finale ranked as one of the most discussed TV shows on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. The episode inspired almost 3 million social engagements Sunday night, making it one of the most talked about shows in the social media era. That's got to count for something.
"The Walking Dead" will return to AMC for a seventh season in October.
Follow Brandon Katz at @Great_Katzby