The premiere of AMC’s Fear the Walking Dead drew a record audience for a cable program.
The Walking Dead spinoff drew a 4.9 rating among adults 18 to 49 and 10.1 million total viewers.
The 90-minute show had the highest ratings and most total viewers for a premiere in cable network history.
With The Walking Dead checking in as the most-watched entertainment show on TV, Fear was expected to chalk up big numbers. Five more episodes will air this season before season 6 of The Walking Dead debuts on Oct. 11.
Fear follows the beginning of the zombie apocalypse in Los Angeles as people begin to realize something unusual — and terrifying — is happening.
“Thank you and congratulations to Robert Kirkman, Dave Erickson, the brilliant executive producers and the entire cast and crew of Fear the Walking Dead,” said Charlie Collier, president of AMC and SundanceTV, in a statement.
In this TV era when so much watching takes place on a delayed basis, networks like AMC are reluctant to talk about a single nights viewership of a show.
“However, we are releasing these live/same day ratings because Fear the Walking Dead delivered record-breaking numbers that are all the more special in this era of time-shifted viewing and audience fragmentation,” Collier said. “To have a companion series to the #1 show on television driving communal, urgent viewing, social activity and pop cultural relevance of this magnitude is truly differentiating. Of course none of it is possible without the fans, whose passion leads to these remarkable results.”