The Walking Dead continues to kill in the ratings.
Last Sunday's season 8 premiere — also the series' landmark 100th episode — grew from a 5.0 rating among adults 18—49 (the show's biggest demographic) to a 6.8 after three days delayed viewing, adding an additional 3.59 million viewers. The gains put The Walking Dead in first place in the Top 25 cable shows in Live +3 adults 18—49 for October 16—22.
The Walking Dead boasted a 36% gain vs. Live + SD (same day) rating and topped Monday Night Football (Colts/Titans), Game 7 of the American League Championship Series (Yankees/Astros), Celtics/Cavaliers and AMC's own Talking Dead. The season 8 premiere debuted to a 5 years ratings low with 11.4 million viewers, the lowest since season 2's premiere with 9.5 million viewers — and while it's a far cry from the 20.1 million viewers the season 5 premiere brought in this time in 2014, The Walking Dead's ratings still beat every other cable show.
Despite its drops over the years, The Walking Dead was the top show on television for its sixth consecutive season. This season adapts Volume 20 of the comics, the popular "All Out War" arc. After spending season 7 under the oppressive reign of Negan and the Saviors, Rick Grimes has united the Alexandria, Hilltop and Kingdom communities to rise against Negan and made their first strikes on the Sanctuary and other Savior outposts in the first two episodes of season 8.
The most recent episode, "The Damned," threw a wrench into the gears with the shocking return of a past character, complicating Rick's plans. The preview for episode 8x03, "Monsters," shows next Sunday's episode will continue this surprise development as well as the united strikes against the Saviors' forces.