‘Walking Dead’ Return Scares Up 20 Million Viewers

“Better Call Saul” recovers a bit from rough start per the AMC-preferred delayed viewing numbers

When all the dust settled and the blood dried up, “The Walking Dead” returned for the second half of its sixth season to more than 20 million total viewers.

That gaudy sum counts three-days of delayed TV viewing (19.1 million), as well as digital streaming (1.1 million) figures. Of the linear numbers, 12.1 million viewers came from the key 18-49 demographic.

Beginning one night later, AMC’s “Better Call Saul” Season 2 premiere grew 83 percent in total viewers versus “live” numbers, thanks to the benefit of its own 72 extra hours. By that measurement, it ended up with 4.7 million total viewers, 2.7 million from the main demo. That 18-49 growth clocked in at 98 percent.

Per the more immediate live-plus-same day Nielsen ratings, the “Breaking Bad” prequel had started off in a rough spot; readers can find those details here.

“Saul’s” week-ago Season 2 premiere was up against the Grammy Awards in much of the country. Plus, last year, the Bob Odenkirk series debuted behind “The Walking Dead,” goosing its first figures.

“What a terrific start to the year for these iconic AMC series, and what a pleasure to share our biggest weekend of originals ever with such passionate and engaged fans,” said Charlie Collier, president of AMC, SundanceTV and AMC Studios. “We are proud to be working with all the remarkable creative talent driving these shows.”