Fear The Walking Dead very much alive, premiere ratings make cable TV history

Fans have spent the past several years getting to know the likes of Daryl Dixon and Rick Grimes, and the big question was how many people would tune in for a Walking Dead series without the main cast. Turns out, a lot. 

The new prequel series debuted Sunday night on AMC, tracking the saga of a blended L.A. family as the end of the world begins. It was a slow burn (a little too slow for my taste), but that didn’t stop a record-setting 10.1 million viewers and an eye-popping 6.3 rating among adults 18-49.

For those keeping count: That marks the highest cable series premiere in cable TV history (for the sake of comparison, The Walking Dead originally premiered to 5.4 million viewers back in 2010). Of course, The Walking Dead pulls in 16-17 million people nowadays, but we’re just talking about premiere numbers. Fear the Walking Dead didn’t match the flagship series’ current levels, but it’s still easily one of the most successful debuts in cable history. Not bad for a spinoff series bowing in late summer.

As for the show itself? It displays promise, though (most critics agree) the pilot was a bit too slow. Footage from the rest of the season seems to indicate a whole lot more action on the horizon, but for a pilot episode, it could’ve done a better job of providing a hook. My two cents: They maybe should’ve set the pilot a few days later into the apocalypse to ramp up the excitement, then use flashbacks to fill in some of these narrative gaps. 

But, since we still have another two months to wait for The Walking Dead to return, Fear will hopefully suffice as a decent distraction. What’d you think of the pilot? Is it worthy of holding the record?

(Via Entertainment Weekly)

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