AMC's The Walking Dead may not receive much in the form of prestigious awards. However, it continues to prove that it does deserve to win at least some of those prestigious awards. The shows that do win do so in part because they garner a large audience across all platforms. When you consider the fact that the hit zombie apocalyptic zombie drama also does just that, how in the f**k does it keep on getting snubbed time and time again???
Anyway, last Sunday night's season five premiere ("No Sanctuary") of The Walking Dead became the show's highest-rated episode ever. It earned a grand total of ... (ready for this?) 17.3 million viewers. 17.3 million viewers!!! That beats the previous record-holder, the season four premiere ("30 Days Without an Accident"), by seven percent. And, guess what? "No Sanctuary" also garnered an extraordinary amount of viewers in the much-coveted 18-49 age demographic range, 11 million, to be specific. That is up six percent from what "30 Days Without an Accident" received a year ago.
Talking Dead, the Chris Hardwick-led aftershow, also benefited from the outstanding premiere, setting a new record with a series high of 6.9 million viewers, and 4.5 million viewers in the 18-49 demo. Both are an increase of 30 percent from last year's premiere. It must have been Conan's jokes that attracted so many people, because it could not have been just Hardwick's jokes, or the fact that director (and special effects master) Greg Nicotero and showrunner/writer Scott Gimple were in attendance, too.
Furthermore, Twitter must have exploded (or imploded, I guess) with the enormous amount of Walking Dead-related tweets. The season five premiere became the show's most talked-about episode ever with more than 1.32 million tweets. And just because the show could not stop there, it also became one of the only shows in the history of Twitter to take up all ten trending topics at once. I mean, DAMN!!!!!!!!!!!!!
What does all this mean for the series going forward? That season five has started off on a very high note, setting the tone for what the rest of the season should look like, more or less. That, in and of itself, means that it will be very difficult for any of the upcoming episodes to top the premiere. The good news is that while the premiere did answer a few previously-made questions, it also formed other interesting questions. Will Rick and co. be able to co-exist, despite the nice, emotional reunions that occurred during the latter moments of "No Sanctuary?" Is this the end of Gareth, or will he retaliate? And, where is Morgan going, or what exactly is he following? I am sure you can come up with many other questions, but you get the idea. All of the story arcs in play should form into something bigger and more intriguing, and that is something I am certain the makers of this show are hoping to achieve.
The next episode set to debut on October 19th is titled "Strangers." We shall see which strangers will cross paths with Rick and the group.
- Related article: 'The Walking Dead': First Look at "Strangers"
Give the season five premiere a grade: