ByKit Simpson Browne, writer at Creators.co
Staff Writer, Superheroes, Star Wars and such. Bad jokes aplenty. Can be gently prodded on Twitter at @kitsb1
Kit Simpson Browne

Now, if you've somehow managed to arrange the perfect storm of not having watched the latest episode of #AMC's #TheWalkingDead and not having had its content spoiled for you by the entire internet this past week, but have still wound up clicking on this here article, then it'd seem a real shame for it to be the straw that broke that improbable camel's back. And, so, let's just say that stuff went down in this past week's premiere, and holy crap did it freak the whole internet (and a bunch of conservative groups) out.

For everyone who has already seen the premiere, though, it'll be no real surprise that everyone sort of collectively freaked out for a little while there — nor, perhaps, that...

The Walking Dead Premiere Just Fundamentally Altered The Stock Market

[The Walking Dead/AMC]
[The Walking Dead/AMC]

Or, at least, AMC's particular corner of it. Y'see, in the wake of the show's premiere (and its 17 million live viewers), AMC Networks (AMC's parent company) saw a near four-point jump in its stock price, much of which has been credited to the favorable response to the show's first episode of Season 7. What's more, though stock prices are notoriously ephemeral things, AMC's seems to have stabilized close to 6 percent higher than it was before The Walking Dead Season 7 began airing, which — theoretically, at least — means that the show's successful return added a whole lot of quantifiable value to the company.

Here's the thing, though:

Does That Stock Market Jump Actually Mean Anything?

[The Walking Dead/Image Comics]
[The Walking Dead/Image Comics]

After all, AMC Networks' stock price may well have risen dramatically over the past few days, but in the context of the past few years, it's still doing pretty darned poorly. The loss of — and lack of replacement of — big hitters like #MadMen and #BreakingBad has hit the company hard in recent times, with the company's stock price having fallen substantially from its peak back in July 2015. To give you an idea of how much, it's currently on 53.14 at time of writing, a substantial improvement on the 50.61 it was going into the weekend. Back in 2015, though, it peaked at 85.78. In comparison to the increase over the past days is — while still surely reassuring to AMC — pretty much a drop in an (ever-diminishing) ocean.

What the recent Walking Dead-related stock bump does almost certainly mean, however, is that the show won't be going anywhere anytime soon. With AMC Networks having thus far failed to find another show that comes close to reaching the show's lofty ratings heights, there's a pretty strong argument to be made that The Walking Dead, and The Walking Dead alone, is keeping the company's stock price afloat. Unless, of course, hardcore investors make up the 17 or so people who actually seem to be watching the critically acclaimed Halt and Catch Fire. In which case, AMC is probably fine.

What do you think, though? Does AMC have more going for it than we think, or is The Walking Dead keeping it afloat? Let us know below!

[Deadline]