By Scott Collins
4:25 PM EDT, October 14, 2013
"The Walking Dead" is now, by some ratings measures, the No. 1 show on TV.
Sunday's season 4 premiere of AMC's zombie drama chowed down on 16.1 million total viewers, according to Nielsen. That's a record for the series, of course, as well as a remarkable 48% boost from last year's season 3 rollout.
It also puts "Walking Dead" in the rarefied company of TV's most-watched shows. "NCIS," currently the No. 1 show on TV, averages around 20 million viewers for new episodes.
"Walking Dead" will probably reach that point once delayed viewing is factored in for Sunday's episode.
More important is the performance of "Walking Dead" among young adults, the audience most TV executives are seeking. An average of 10.4 million viewers 18 to 49 years old watched the Sunday premiere. That is a huge number that easily surpasses anything on broadcast.
In fact, during premiere week, the No. 1 show among 18 to 49 was CBS' sitcom "The Big Bang Theory," which drew 9.8 million in that demographic -- and that was after a week's worth of delayed viewing was thrown in.
What did you think of "Walking Dead" and its ratings performance?
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