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The most recent season of The Walking Dead, all told, actually averaged just a shade over 28 million viewers every week.
AMC, when asked for gross metrics for its flagship drama, points out that the series’ fourth season jumped by nearly 10 million viewers weekly once replays, on-demand and TV Everywhere views are taken into account. That’s up from the already daunting 18.4 million viewers the series gets from the original broadcasts’ live-plus-7 day ratings.
The figure puts recently skyrocketing numbers for Game of Thrones (18 million weekly viewers), published by The Hollywood Reporter on Wednesday, much further in its rearview mirror than the DVR average on its own.
Numbers are greater still when you take piracy into account, huge for shows like The Walking Dead and Game of Thrones, not to mention the massive lifts from international viewers. But like so many TV comparisons, the shows are really apples and oranges.
And The Walking Dead has a lot of oranges.