8:11am PT by Rick Porter
'Walking Dead' Ratings Improve Slightly in Midseason Return
The Walking Dead returned with small ratings gains to start the back half of season nine.
The AMC series' first episode of 2019 edged up across the board compared with the fall finale in November. The numbers for Sunday's episode are in line with most of the season nine's first half, which were pretty steady (albeit low, compared with prior seasons) from episode two forward.
Sunday's episode delivered a 2.0 rating among adults 18-49 with 2.6 million people in that age range tuning in. That's a slight 2 percent bump over the fall finale. Total viewers improved by 1 percent (5.09 million to 5.16 million), and the number of viewers ages 25-54 (3.1 million, equivalent to 2.5 rating in the demo) grew by 3 percent.
Aftershow Talking Dead ticked up by 3 percent in adults 18-49 (1.1 million viewers/0.8 rating) and 4 percent in adults 25-54 (1.3 million/1.1) while holding steady at 2.3 million viewers.
Per usual, The Walking Dead — which introduced new antagonists in The Whisperers — was far and away the No. 1 show on cable Sunday. Both its 18-49 rating and total-viewer counts were more than double those of the next highest-scoring original show — which happened to be Talking Dead.
The episode also had a better 18-49 rating than anything on broadcast TV save CBS' Grammy Awards broadcast.