AMC announced today that it has renewed The Walking Dead, the #1 show on television among adults 18-49 for the last three years, for a seventh season. In addition, AMC has renewed Talking Dead, the live after-show hosted by Chris Hardwick that ranks in the top 10 across all television among adults 18-49, with new episodes to follow The Walking Dead. The network didn't announce a specific episode count for Season 7, but it will likely span 16 episodes, like the last four seasons.
The October 25th episode of The Walking Dead delivered 18.2 million viewers, 12 million adults 18-49 and 11.5 million adults 25-54 in live+3 ratings, which include three days of time-shifted viewing - each growing compared to last season's corresponding episode #503. Last Sunday's Talking Dead was its highest-rated episode ever that was not a premiere or a finale, delivering 7.3 million viewers, 4.6 million adults 18-49 and 4.7 million adults 25-54 in live+3. Here's what AMC president Charlie Collier had to say in a statement.
"Thank goodness someone had a Magic 8-Ball with them in our many long internal meetings about these renewals. When, on the third shake, 'without a doubt' filled the murky blue screen, we knew we had to proceed with new seasons of The Walking Dead and Talking Dead. All joking aside, we are so proud to share these shows with fans who have been so passionate, communicative and engaged. We are grateful for and continually impressed by the talent, effort and excellence on continuous display by Robert Kirkman, Scott M. Gimple, Chris Hardwick and the many people with whom we partner to make these unique shows possible. The result: More Walking and Talking. Hooray."
The October 25th Episode (#603) of The Walking Dead (Live+3) attracted 18.2 million viewers, up 39% from live/same day (an increase of 5.1 million viewers), 12.0 million adults 18-49 (national rating of 9.5), up 42% from live/same day (an increase of 3.5 million adults 18-49) and 11.5 million adults 25-54, up 41% from live/same day (an increase of 3.3 million adults 25-54). The October 25th Episode of Talking Dead (Live+3) drew in 7.3 million viewers, up 18% from live/same day (an increase of 1.1 million viewers), 4.6 million adults 18-49 (national rating of 3.6), up 17% from live/same day (an increase of 673,000 adults 18-49) and 4.7 million adults 25-54, up 18% from live/same day (an increase of 699,000 adults 25-54).
Following a free premiere event with 13,500 screaming fans at Madison Square Garden, The Walking Dead has kicked off its sixth season with impressive social activity, drawing nearly 20 million social engagements between premiere week and episode 3 and ranking as the #1 most engaging drama. Since last year's premiere, The Walking Dead has gained 5.5 million new fans across social media, now tracking with an audience of nearly 40 million. Instagram has surfaced as The Walking Dead's fastest-growing social platform, with the show capturing more than 8% of the industry's engagement so far this season, up 25% from last year. Meanwhile, the series' audience size has more than tripled on Instagram, while total engagements have jumped 325% from this point last year, with 8 million total engagements for the season to date.
For Season 7, Scott M. Gimple will return as the series' showrunner and executive producer, along with executive producers Robert Kirkman, Gale Anne Hurd, David Alpert, Greg Nicotero and Tom Luse. Around the world, Season 7 of The Walking Dead will again be "First on FOX," with FOX International Channels (FIC) bringing the show to audiences globally in all of its 125+ markets as part of FIC's continued commitment to broadcast the series day-and-date internationally. Following the U.S. trend, The Walking Dead continues to break records overseas and has more than tripled its numbers on FOX since its launch.