The Walking Dead finished season six on top, retaining its four-year title as the #1 show on television, AMC announced Friday. The sixth season finale had a total of 18.4 million viewers in LIVE+3 ratings (which include time-shifted DVR views), with 11.5 million of those falling in the key demographic of 18-49.
That makes it the #1 show in key demographic, and makes the season average for LIVE+3 ratings right at 18 million viewers, and comes despite a negative social media reaction to the season's cliffhanger.
"We know how rare it is to have the #1 show on television for four years running and to share a season six finale on AMC with more than 18 million fans, to say nothing of the passionate and appreciated conversations that followed. So, as we close this season, first and foremost, a heartfelt 'thank you' is on all of our minds," said Charlie Collier, president of AMC, SundanceTV and AMC Studios in a press release. "Thank you to everyone who makes The Walking Dead possible, from those working in the Los Angeles-Senoia-New York 'zombie triangle' to our fans around the world. We now put down Lucille for a while and leave the 'at bats' to baseball until our October return."
The aftershow Talking Dead also had a high 7.4 million viewers.
The 11.5 million demographic viewers puts The Walking Dead over Sunday Night Football, Empire, Thursday Night Football, and The Big Bang Theory, rounding out the top five of series right now. Companion series Fear the Walking Dead clocked in at #7 overall for its premiere season, and returns to AMC Sunday nights starting this weekend.