After seeing overnight ratings declines of 19 percent after the first episode, 12 percent after the second episode, and after shedding another half a million viewers between its third and fourth episode, there’s finally some encouraging news for Fear the Walking Dead fans.
The most encouraging sign is that, without competition from the Emmys, the ratings for The Walking Dead spin-off finally leveled off. While the pilot episode shattered cable records with 10.1 million overnight viewers, the fifth episode had fallen to 6.66 million viewers. While that’s obviously discouraging, it’s actually up a tick from last week’s episode. More importantly, with competition from a new slate of network shows, Fear the Walking Dead still managed to easily hold on to the lead in its timeslot among the all-powerful 18-49 demo. The 3.6 rating in the key demo was better than Family Guy’s 1.5, the 1.4 of Blood & Oil and the 1.8 of the two-hour series finale of CSI.
More reassuringly is the fact that, once DVR viewers are accounted for, Fear the Walking Dead’s ratings skyrocket. Live + 7 numbers are in for the third episode of the season, and it saw a significant bounce, from 7.1 million viewers to 11.5 million. Nothing else on cable came close.
In fact, ratings for the third episode of Fear the Walking Dead were twice what the ratings were for the third episode of The Walking Dead, though it wasn’t quite the juggernaut then that the series has since become.
In short: Fear the Walking Dead may not be as dominant as the mothership, but outside of the NFL, it’s still the most dominant show on Sunday night television.