The fifth-season premiere of AMC’s The Walking Dead garnered the largest audience in cable history for a drama, and the zombie skein has walked off with another 5 million viewers, gauged on a Nielsen live+3 basis.
The Oct. 12 bow of The Walking Dead episode entitled "No Sanctuary" tallied 22.37 million viewers on a live+3 basis, adding nearly 5.09 million watchers, and a 29% bump from the 17.29 million who watched the installment on a live+same-day level. That marked a 10% improvement from the live+3 advance The Walking Dead realized for its fourth-season starter, according to AMC officials.
Among Madison Avenue's most-coveted watchers of walkers, "No Sanctuary" picked up another 3.54 million of those viewers, lifting its live+3 tally by 32% to 14.5 million from 11 million. That was up from an 8% increase in the demo between the measures for the fourth-season opener.
Relative to adults 25 to 54, The Walking Dead's live +3 added 3.13 million of those watchers, 32% more than its live+same day's 9.87 million. As such, season five experienced 14% amelioration versus season's four live+3 day improvement.
As for The Talking Dead, the after-show companion piece also played much bigger three days after its initial conversations. The show's overall audience grew 13% -- 899,000 viewers -- to 7.78 million on live+3-day basis, a 36% surge from the fourth-season bump.
On the demo walk, Talking Dead scored a 15% 18-to-49 rise -- 650,000 -- to 5.1 million of those watchers on a live+3 measure, a 35% push above the fourth-season debut's advance. Meanwhile the show's 25-to-54 set climbed 16% to 4.65 million from its 4 million live+same-day mark. AMC execs put the increase at 34% from last-season's beginning episode.