AMC released the Neilsen Live+3 ratings for the mid-season return of The Walking Dead Season Seven via a press release today and reported a total of 15.9 million viewers for the episode. This is a substantial increase over the most recent season seven episodes, which averaged just over 10.5 million viewers.
Charlie Collier, president of AMC, SundanceTV and AMC Studios. stated that,“Whether you consider The Walking Dead a survivor or an empire, it is gratifying to see the show return with such a big bang, and not just in theory – ratings increases from December’s finale in an environment in which growth, when measured and reported, can feel like something of a stranger thing.”
The rating is the second highest number that season seven has delivered, beaten only by the controversial debut episode which featured the deaths of Glenn and Abraham at the hand of the popular villian Negan. The Walking Dead’s Executive Producer Gale Anne Hurd stated previously that violence would be toned down after the precipitious drop in viewership after season seven’s premiere. She was later contradicted by fellow Executive Producers Scott Gimple and Greg Nicotero who claimed that violence was not toned down due to fan backlash.
So who’s telling the truth? Anyone who viewed the mid-season return entitled “Rock in the Road” would have to note that very little violence occurred (other than a vehicular clothes-lining of numerous zombies by Rick and Michonne, which was also filmed from afar). With a such a huge ratings boost, perhaps Hurd had the right idea after all. Viewers will have to wait and see if the rest of the season stays away from the gratuitious gore of the first episode of the season.
Stay tuned to Horror News Network for futher coverage of season seven and all things horror.