The Walking Dead Takes Another Bite Out of the Olympics

AMC zombie drama keeps scaring up huge ratings

AMC’s The Walking Dead once again took a ragged bite out of the Winter Olympics, topping the 9-10 p.m. EST segment of NBC’s Sunday night coverage by more than 20 percent.

According to Nielsen live-plus-same-day data, the Feb. 16 installment of Robert Kirkman’s dystopian drama averaged 13.3 million total viewers and a 6.8 in the dollar demo, easily beating NBC’s analogous Olympics program (5.6).

This marks the second time Atlanta’s shambling corpses bested the world’s top athletes; last week, the mid-season premiere of The Walking Dead scared up a whopping 8.2 rating, edging NBC’s demo performance by seven-tenths of a ratings point.

While Sunday night’s installment of Dead was down 17 percent week-to-week, the telecast improved 21 percent versus its year-ago mark. As it so happens, both episodes went head-to-head with the NBA All-Star Game on TNT.

The Walking Dead once again dominated the NBA’s annual mid-season exhibition, beating the game’s 9-10 p.m. segment by 5.8 million total viewers, or 77 percent.

Through the first 10 episodes of Season 4, Dead is averaging 13.3 million viewers and a 6.8 in the 18-49 demo. By comparison, the second highest-rated scripted show on TV, CBS’ The Big Bang Theory, is averaging a 5.3 in the demo.

Barring a full-on zombie apocalypse, AMC plans to run the season finale of Dead on March 30.