Sunday’s premiere was down 34 percent from the season nine debut in total viewers, 35 percent in AMC’s core demographic of adults 25-54 (2.9 rating to 1.9) and 42 percent in adults 18-49. The Walking Dead, which was renewed for its 11th season a day ahead of the premiere, still holds a sizable lead over every other show on ad-supported cable (excluding sports and news).
Last season, The Walking Dead increased its 18-49 rating by 54 percent and total viewers by 48 percent after three days of delayed viewing. After seven days, the show’s initial numbers were up by 68 percent in the 18-49 demo and 59 percent in viewers.
Sunday’s episode was also available a week early to users of the AMC Premiere subscription service; subsequent episodes will be released two days before their on-air debuts.