10:19am PT by Michael O'Connell
TV Ratings: More Viewers Watching 'Walking Dead' on Delay, Premiere Hits 19.5M
The Walking Dead surged in its first live-plus-three day ratings, boasting slightly more time-shifting than previous premieres, though the season six opener still signals a drop from last year's record-breaking highs.
With three extra days of viewing, The Walking Dead jumped 33 percent to 19.5 million viewers and 36 percent among adults 18-49 to a total 12.9 million viewers. (Last season premiere's boosts were a respective 29 and 32 percent.) That demo score outpaces Empire as the highest-rated season premiere in the key demo of 2015 and the broadcast season.
Still, The Walking Dead is off by nearly 3 million viewers from the comparable DVR stats of the 2014 season premiere. In the key demo, it's off by roughly 1.5 million viewers. As for Talking Dead, Chris Hardwick's live aftershow nabbed 6.5 million viewers, a whopping 4.2 million of them in the 18-49 window.
AMC took the occasion of the time-shifting news to also date the second half of The Walking Dead's sixth season. It returns February 14, 2016. Happy Valentine's Day?