'Dead' Gains 16M Viewers, Beats 'SNF'

The Walking DeadAMC’s “Walking Dead” is on a sprint -- besting NBC’s powerful “Sunday Night Football” among key viewers -- for its fourth season premiere.

The popular show pulled in a slightly better Nielsen 8.0 rating among 18-49 viewers -- 10.4 million viewers of that key demographic for advertisers.

Not only was the performance another record for the show, but among 18-49 ratings it registered the best numbers for TV show so far this season in prime time.

“Dead” posted 16.1 million viewers overall. For the first two weeks of the season, CBS’ “NCIS” had the best results, averaging 20 million overall viewers. CBS’ “Big Bang Theory” was at 18.6 million viewers.

For “Dead," all this was higher than its last appearance -- the show’s Season Three finale where it earned 12.4 million total viewers and 8.1 million 18-49 viewers, around a 6.0 rating among 18-49 viewers.

By way of comparison, NBC’s “Sunday Night Football," featuring the Dallas Cowboys and Washington Redskins took in a Nielsen preliminary 7.3 rating/18 share, up from a 5.8 rating the week before. “Sunday Night Football” posted the best overall prime-time viewership for a Sunday night series -- 19.7 million total viewers.

Another prime-time sport for the night-- Major League Baseball’s League Championship Series -- did not fare as well as football, but higher versus an earlier telecast. Fox’s close, late-inning deciding game featuring the Detroit Tigers and Boston Red Sox took in a 2.4 rating/6 share among 18-49 viewers and 8.3 million viewers. A Saturday telecast earned a 1.7 rating.

All other non-sports Sunday broadcast programming was down versus the week before among 18-49 viewers and total viewers. ABC’s “Once Upon A Time” fared the best among 18-49 viewers here with a 2.3/6. CBS’s “60 Minutes” was the highest among total viewers in the non-sports broadcast Sunday night category, at 10.6 million.

Overall for the night, NBC, CBS, and Fox posted better numbers than the week before in preliminary Nielsen results-- with ABC and Univision at the same levels. NBC was at 6.0/16 among 18-49 viewers. Fox was at a 3.6/9; ABC and CBS each had a 1.5/4; and Univision was at a 1.1/3.



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