Could 'Walking Dead' Become TV's Top Scripted Show?
Series could end season ahead of 'Modern Family,' 'Big Bang Theory' in key demos
Could AMC's "The Walking Dead" become the top-rated scripted show on TV?
Yes. It looks distinctly possible that a zombie show, based on a comic book, on a network no one paid much attention to just five years ago, could end the season ahead of juggernauts like "Modern Family" and "Big Bang Theory" in the most coveted demographic on television. At the very least, it could easily emerge as TV's top drama in the demo.
No cable series has ever finished an entire season as TV's top-rated scripted show. If "The Walking Dead" it does, it will be a watershed moment in the history of television.
Settle in if you like underdog stories, because this is one -- with zombies.
Also read: Famous Zombie Coming to 'Walking Dead'
On Sunday, "The Walking Dead" season 3 premiere broke audience records for basic cable dramas by scaring up 10.9 million viewers. But forget that cable record, for a moment, because it also did something arguably more impressive.
By broadcast network standards, 10.9 million viewers would be strong, though not spectacular. What's more significant is that "The Walking Dead" thrived in the 18-49 demographic most important to advertisers. It scored the best rating for any scripted show that aired on any network – broadcast or cable -- in a year.
The last scripted show to beat a 5.8 in the demo was a "Modern Family" episode that earned a 5.9 last Oct. 12, almost exactly a year before "The Walking Dead" premiere.
"Modern Family" ended last season the top-rated scripted show on TV. (The top unscripted shows, in descending order, were NBC's "Sunday Night Football," FOX's "American Idol," and NBC's "The Voice.")
But "Walking Dead" could become TV's top scripted show this year if the ratings hold. And there there is reason to believe they can -- because the audience for "Walking Dead" has grown like a horde of zombies.
The show set a cable viewing record with its season 2 premiere, then broke it with its midseason return, then broke it again with its finale. And broke it again Sunday.
Did we mention that "The Walking Dead" aired against "Sunday Night Football" in much of the country? Or that it isn't carried by satellite provider Dish, which is locked in a dispute with AMC?
Those facts aside, "The Walking Dead" would still seem an unlikely hit. Underdogs don't come from much closer to the ground.
It sprang from the imagination of childhood friends Robert Kirkman (right) and Tony Moore, two Kentucky kids who dreamed of publishing their own comics. The "Walking Dead" series, which debuted in 2003, was only one of their collaborations.
AMC, meanwhile, was best known for rerunning old movies until it broke through with "Mad Men" in 2007.
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Not surprsing, big bang theory is running painfully thin and modern family has always been lame duck and would have nothing going without Ms. Vergara. The Walking Dead is an incredible drama and the season 3 premiere was outstanding. The only thing keeping it from blowing both of those lackluster shows out of the water is that it appeals to only the 18+ demographic while the other shows are more geared towards teens and children. And in reguards to AMC forget mad men. Breaking Bad was AMC's smash hit and it is still the best drama to ever air on cable TV. Imagine the numbers if DISH was still on the bandwagon.
End of the world, survival type stories have always captivated audiences going back many years on screen. I think people find a particular relevance in unsettled periods of our history...ie. a recession, a war, an election year and so on. First, it gives one a chance to fantasize how they might survive. Second, it's an escape as all entertainment is. Third, allows one to think "it could be worse". This particular genre of zombies just amps up all of that. There's no denying people eat it up. Revolution is one of NBC's top new performers. As long as the writing is sharp and the stories make a human connection, these will usually be successful. My opinion is the 1st season was quite good, the second drug on and on and became a little tedious. After one episode of this season they might be back on track. The potential is certainly there to recapture the magic. If zombies aren't your thing then fine, but I'm quite certain everyone has a guilty pleasure, stupid show they enjoy. It's all just make believe after all.
I do not understand the fascination with this Walking Dead show.
It is extremely poorly written and extremely poor acting .... EVERY episode is identical!.
My wife just started watching this and I can believe it. I actually get pissed that she likes this garbabge. I thought I married a more intellectual woman.
Every episode is based on a group of people trying to survive and killing zombies by shooting them in the head. REALLY ??? Are we THAT BORED as a society ? Perhaps the audience are just a bunch of zombies like Obama supporters.
Seriously, this show does not even remotely deserve the attention it has been getting. Our society is decaying and this is a good example of why!