Showrunner changes be damned, audiences love themselves some The Walking Dead. Last night’s season four premiere of the AMC series drew a whopping 16.1 million viewers, which smashes the show’s previous record of 12.4 million viewers for the season three finale. That’s an astonishing number not just for cable TV but for all of television in general, as it’s just shy of last week’s numbers for The Big Bang Theory (17.64 million viewers), which is consistently one of the biggest performers on the tube.
The episode itself seemed to be met with a somewhat mixed response overall (read Dave’s recap here), but there was still plenty of promising material to be found in Scott Gimple’s debut as the series’ new showrunner. AMC must be thrilled, as the network just recently announced a new Walking Dead companion series to debut in 2015 in an effort to soften the blow of losing Breaking Bad and Mad Men.