Sunday, October 14, 2012

The Question, Sunday 10/14/12: Are the Dead Walking Even Taller?


I was going to say something in this space about how The Walking Dead has broadcast-sized ratings. But that might be an insult to The Walking Dead! AMC's massive-rated zombie drama returns Sunday night and has a great chance to outrate every drama on broadcast TV this week, and quite possibly this whole season. Though broadcast dramas and even most of the cable procedurals have taken a hit in the last few years, several of the cable serials have shown an incredible ability to keep picking up Live + Same Day steam. Are the dead walking even taller? That's The Question for Sunday, October 14, 2012.

The Walking Dead Premieres/Avgs/Fins Other Cable Serial Season Premieres
2.7/2.65/3.0 (Fall 2010)
3.8/3.41/3.5 (Fall 2011)
4.2/3.90/4.7 (Spring 2012)
0.6 -> 0.7 -> 0.9 -> 1.1 -> 1.5
(Breaking Bad)
??? -> 0.8 -> 0.9 -> 0.9 -> 1.2
(Mad Men)
0.7 -> 2.0 -> 2.9 -> 3.0 -> 2.9
(True Blood)
1.3 -> 2.3 -> 2.1 -> 2.5 -> 2.8
(Sons of Anarchy)

As I said in a True Blood War of 18-49 Update this summer, there are two kinds of "hot" cable serials these days: the True Blood type, which hit phenomenon status relatively early and has somehow stayed there even as the critics bail, and then all the others listed above, which have managed to continue growing deep into their runs. I'm a big fan of The Walking Dead, but there's got to be a point at which it just can't possibly keep becoming even more of a phenomenon. I say we're about there, but then I thought we were about there coming into last spring as well. I can't rule out the show going even farther beyond the 4.7 from the spring finale, because most of the premieres have gone well above the prior finale. But facing football and baseball may be a bit of a factor. I say the smart money is on this being the year the show levels off, True Blood-style. The smart money, however, has not been making much money on this show.

Over/Under: 4.6.

No entries accepted after 6:00am ET the morning after the date in the headline. If editing your pick, please leave a separate comment.

14 comments:

Spot said...

under

Spot said...

Under, surely it's got to come down/level off somewhere and none of the dramas that still keep going are quite THIS big. Up on the last premiere but down from the finale.

Spot said...

Over. I have full faith that the show will gain with the buzz it's had since the finale, people checking out the show through word of mouth and the highly-anticipated storylines of the prison and Michonne and the Governer will factor into more people watching. The show is still in its early days and will continue to grow for its third year.

Spot said...

Under

Spot said...

Over.

Spot said...

Man. The smart money's probably on under, but I'm talking about JUST over at 4.7.

Spot said...

Over.

Spot said...

Over- Cable is picking up steam.

Spot said...

I love this show so freaking much, I will go with a lot of wishfull thinking and over. It's quite a risky bet and probably wrong, but it is possible and I just want to see it keeping up with the monster phenomenum it is!

Spot said...

Ugho, this is a hard one. Seriously. I'm writing all this crap just to confirm to myself which way I wanna go.

But then again, I think there's a little bit of momentum to be had yet, and maybe there's just a bit of a romance to the idea of a cable drama hitting a 5. So I'm going Over.

Spot said...

Under. AMC's dispute with Dish (~10% of subscribers) coupled with increased DVR usage should cause ratings to drop slightly. I also believe its close to the limits of its potential audience, since it's already the most popular drama on television.

Spot said...

Over. I don't see any reason for its momentum to slow down, and premiering near Halloween will help attract an audience.

Spot said...

I just heard about a dispute with DISH Network. Therefore, I AM CHANGING MY PREDICTION to UNDER (4.4).

Spot said...

I just heard of the dish dispute. I am changing it to under. It should still beat the season 2 premiere, but not the season 2 finale.

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