Going into Thursday night, we anticipated that the Walker premiere would perform well for The CW. It’s the first show for Jared Padalecki following his time on Supernatural, and it’s also a reboot of a long-beloved property. It’s not the same exact show as the original by any means (Jared’s not trying to do a Chuck Norris impression), but it stood a chance to bring the network an audience it doesn’t usually have.
Now that we’ve seen the first ratings for the show, The CW’s gotta be pretty darn pleased … at least for now. The Walker premiere ended up generating a 0.4 rating in the 18-49 demographic and, more impressively, over 2.4 million live viewers. As TVLine managed to figure out in a piece today, this is the most-watched regular program on the network since a broadcast of The Flash on January 30, 2018. This number will of course increase exponentially when you factor in DVR views and internet streams. (The CW has a great system of making their episodes available for next-day free viewing.)
The premiere ratings for Walker are great, but now the real challenge begins. New shows often lose 15-20% of their audience entering episode 2 and the decline could be even greater here. Because of the property, there may have been more curiosity-viewers than usual — people who loved the original and were expecting this to be an identical recreation. The next few weeks will be essential to the long-term value of the series. A season 2 feels likely, but it’s far from assured.
Still, 2.4 million viewers is a tremendous start and after a premiere like this, we have to imagine that The CW is going to hold this property close and promote the heck out of it. The success of it and All American both this week also suggests that we may be moving into a different era at the network; its superhero shows still hold value, but there is clearly an interest in real-life stories in a more grounded sense of reality.
What do you think about the Walker premiere ratings at The CW?
Be sure to let us know in the comments! We’ll be back with more updates soon. (Photo: The CW.)