‘Into the Badlands’ Series Finale Draws Solid Ratings in Delayed Viewing

The final episode of the freshman series’ first season drew 3.6 million total viewers in live viewing plus three days of playback

“Into the Badlands” delivered its most time-shifted episode yet with its freshman season finale.

In live viewing plus three days of playback, the Dec. 20 episode of the AMC martial arts drama drew 3.6 million total viewers, 2 million adults 18-49 and 2.2 million adults 25-54, according to Nielsen.

That represents a 32-percent drop-off in total viewers from the 5.3 million that the series averaged throughout the season. But that number was inflated by the lead-in that “Badlands” received from “The Walking Dead,” television’s most-watched scripted entertainment show, throughout most of the season.

That 3.6 million people viewed the “Badlands” finale within three days of the broadcast nearly one month after “The Walking Dead” ended its season is a positive sign for the martial-arts drama, which has yet to be renewed for a second season.

Speaking to TheWrap last week, Charlie Collier, president of AMC, SundanceTV and AMC Studios, credited “The Walking Dead” with helping to encourage viewers to sample new series.

“As a platform for not just like-minded series like ‘Fear the Walking Dead,’ but also other original series that are focused on the millennial or fanboy audience, it’s a great way to expose new content and new creative visions to an audience that is already predisposed to exploring that sort of content,” Collier said. It’s “TV 101,” he added, “to expose your new content behind the largest audiences in your stable.”

In adults 18-49 (3.2 million) and 25-54 (3.3 million), “Into the Badlands” enjoyed the third most watched freshman season in cable history, behind first-place “Fear the Walking Dead” and second-place “Better Call Saul,” both debuted this year by AMC.