4:58pm PT by Michael O'Connell
'Hell on Wheels' Ratings Take a Hit Without 'Walking Dead' Lead
Hell on Wheels kicked off its sophomore season on Sunday night, shifting to 9 p.m. ET and losing its Walking Dead lead in the process.
The episode brought in 2.5 million viewers, 793,000 of them adults 18-49 (a 0.6 rating). It's a dramatic drop from the November 2011 premiere, the second-highest in AMC history, which drew 4.3 million viewers and 2.4 million adults 18-49 (a 1.9 rating).
But it's also not that far south of numbers achieved during January's freshman ender. That episode pulled in 2.9 million viewers and a 0.7 rating with adults 18-49.
The ratings are still good for AMC. They top almost the entire run of The Killing by a wide margin and are on par -- at least among total viewers -- with the current run of Breaking Bad.
Hell on Wheels stars Anson Mount and was created by brothers Joe and Tony Gayton. It was renewed for a second season in December.