The Walking Dead premiere last night was the highest rated cable series premiere of 2010, and its highest rating EVER on AMC for an original series, Deadline reports. The premiere drew 5.3 million total viewers, and the second showing increased the total audience to 8.1 million. “It’s a good day to be dead,” said AMC president Charlie Collier “We are so proud of this series, its depth of storytelling and the remarkable talent attached.”
AMC heavily promoted the show, and the nerd-related internet played right along with a barrage of promo. Reviews have been generally very, very positive.
This first season of The Walking Dead is only six episodes long, making it really more of a miniseries. However, a contest to be a zombie during the show pretty much gave away that a second season is planned, hopefully one that is a little longer.
As for the folks at Stately Beat Manor, we watched and greatly enjoyed the show, finding the tone highly reminiscent of Darabont’s polarizing The Mist. (The scene with the dad and zombie wife in particular.) The biggest complaint about it is the slow pacing but the franchise is really all about survival and character — let it unfold so we care.
If we can get a little analytical for a moment, the appeal of both The Walking Dead and Y: The Last Man have always seemed very similar: strongly written stories about the nitty gritty of post-apocalyptic survival through highly relatable characters. Both comics feature low-key art that emphasizes storytelling and character. Both have been huge hits in collected form. Y has been rumored for a movie for a long time, but for many of the same reasons that TWD is a potentially great TV series, Y would also be much better as a TV series than a movie…the fact that TWD is so similar may mean that we will never see a Y movie or series, we’d guess.
One final note: it was recently pointed out that the WALKING DEAD books have over three million copies in print. That is an amazing number. (For some perspective, the Stieg Larsson books, the biggest phenomenon in publishing since Harry Potter, have sold 15 million copies in English.) This is a hugely popular multimedia franchise that looks to have real legs. Congratulations to Robert Kirkman, Tony Moore, and Charlie Adlard for achieving this and also doing it on terms that favor the creator. It’s a good day for creator-owned comics.
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.