New Life for The Walking Dead

The season seven finale of The Walking Dead was the lowest rating on US TV since season two’s in 2012 and down sharply on season six’s.

But here it improved on what’s been a lacklustre mid-season and exited with the zombie drama’s highest ratings this year.

It won the 9.45 hour in all the core demographics, including 4.1% of 25-54 year-olds and 3.7% of 18-49 year-olds — which was double their viewership of the previous week.

Having a stronger lead-in from The Undateables (5.3% of both demos) helped after weeks of being hamstrung by low-rating sitcoms; for the first seven weeks, TWD averaged only 3.0% of 25-54s and 2.4% of 18-49s.

But the finale was well ahead of Three’s Chicago Med (25-54: 1.6%, 18-49: 1.4%) and TVNZ 1’s Blindspot (25-54: 1.5%, 18-49: 1.1%).

TVNZ 2 also dominated earlier, with My Kitchen Rules winning the 7.30 hour in the core demos, although it see-sawed with TVNZ 1’s Fair Go in the 25-54 stakes (7.0%).

The consumer affairs show and lead-out Highway Cops also out-rated Three’s The Bachelor NZ, and even TVNZ 1’s struggling APB topped Three’s The Wrong Girl with 25-54s, 18-49s and 18-39s.

In the current affairs contest at 7.00, Seven Sharp won the 25-54 and household shopper demos while The Project was tops with 18-49s and 18-39s.

Meanwhile, The Hollywood Reporter this week posted its expectations of the next season of TWD.

When the show returns for its 100th episode, “expect the violence on the Alexandria streets to look like a modest Fourth of July celebration in comparison with the bullets and blood still to come.”

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