AMC’s The Walking Dead spinoff, Fear The Walking Dead, premiered on Sunday night and the ratings indicate that AMC has another hit on their hands.
The premiere broke rating records for cable premieres. With 10.1 million viewers, Nielsen estimates that it was the most watched series launch on record, according to Variety. This number breaks the record previously held by TNT’s 2008 premiere of Raising The Bar, which had 7.7 million total viewers.
The premiere also broke records among adults 18-49. Fear The Walking Dead got 6.3 million viewers in this demographic. This broke the record previously held by another AMC spinoff Better Call Saul with 4.4 million earlier this year. AMC holds 3 of the top 5 cable series launches now, with The Walking Dead ranked fifth, according to Variety.
The premiere had more total viewers than any of the 22 episodes in The Walking Dead‘s first and second seasons. AMC is expected to release the Live+3 ratings on Friday.
“To have a companion series to the #1 show on television driving communal, urgent viewing, social activity and pop cultural relevance of this magnitude is truly differentiating,” Charlie Collier, president of AMC and SundanceTV, said in a statement.
The series, which is set in Los Angeles, explores the world just as the outbreak is beginning. It fills the narrative gap left by The Walking Dead when Rick was in a coma. One thing the premiere did not reveal though was the cause of the outbreak. What is responsible for epidemic has been an important but unanswered question for the series and spinoff.
Fear The Walking Dead has a six episode first season and was already given a second season by AMC. The second season is expected in 2016. The Walking Dead’s sixth season will premiere on October 11.