The Walking Dead posted its third best numbers of the year on Sunday night when it returned from its midseason hiatus.
Rock in the Road, a well-received episode directed by executive producer Greg Nicotero, posted a 5.7 rating in the key 18-49 demo with 12 million total viewers.
With Sunday Night Football out of the picture for the first time in Season 7, the AMC series was competing with The Grammy's for the first time in two years. Still, the show managed to see a 13% increase from its midseason 7 finale which aired on December 11, 2016. It was a 12% increase in the key demo against Hearts Still Beating.
It's likely no coincidence that The Walking Dead's ratings are rising at the same time its core characters are. Rock in the Road featured all of the AMC series' fan favorite characters and rather than having them bullied and humiliated for its slightly extended runtime (a point which was heavily emphasized in the first eight of Season 7), it had Rick Grimes rallying his community in the first efforts to take on Negan and the Saviors.
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It won't be long until The Walking Dead has gunfights and explosions in its trailers, once again. The ratings will likely see peaks and valleys for the next couple of weeks until a Season 7 finale is able to reel in impressive numbers which will likely top Rock in the Road.
By comparison the the midseason 6 premiere, Rock in the Road sees as 13% decrease in the key demo and 14% in overall viewership. However, it is the first midseason premiere to see a rise by comparison to its preceding midseason finale since Season 4.
Given high praise in several reviews, including from ComicBook.com, The Walking Dead will likely see a major boost when Live+3 numbers become available.
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