This weekend saw the premiere of The Walking Dead spin-off Fear The Walking Dead, set in the very start of the zombie apocalypse, with all new
fodder characters and it crushed the ratings:
Ahead of the time-shifting statistics that AMC will no doubt tout on Friday, same-day stats for Fear have the companion series’ inaugural 90-minute outing averaging a boffo 10.1 million viewers.
The significance of that number cannot be overemphasized. Not only does it blow past any other series premiere previously aired on the network, it stands as the most watched launch in cable history. The Walking Dead first set a high bar for AMC in 2010 with its 5.35 million premiere haul, not outdone until early 2015 when the debut of Breaking Bad spinoff Better Call Saul nabbed 6.88 million viewers after a lead-in from The Walking Dead. (After its strong start, Better Call Saul settled in live viewership and ended up averaging 5.9 million viewers in live-plus-3 stats.)
So yeah people like zombies! FTWD will have a six episode run before the OG Walking Dead returns, and then a 15-episode second season. I did enjoy the premiere although it was deliberately slowly paced. It is always fun to see people who are bogged down in petty problems like a junkie son get caught up in EAL trouble like zombies. I did note that the cast was insanely attractive, but help, it is set in LA. Also, zombie dramas need naturally slender actors so they won’t fall into the Hurley problem of not looking gaunt and saving as they wander a bleak landscape of death and doom.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.