‘The Walking Dead’: Season 4 midseason finale ratings up versus 2013; but were they a record?

The Governor -The Walking Dead” is basically a ratings zombie, stumbling through the wilderness and devouring anything in its way. So far this year, it has taken a bite out of “Homeland,” “Boardwalk Empire,” “Revenge,” “The Good Wife,” and even the typically-unstoppable beast known as NFL football. But did it completely destroy all of them for its midseason finale on Sunday night?

While it is still too early to call the NFL competition for a lower-the-average “Sunday Night Football” on NBC, we can at least confirm that the midseason finale drew over 12 million viewers and a 6.1 rating in the 18-49 demographic. This does make it the highest-rated winter finale ever, and in increase of over half a ratings point from last year. But, it is behind the season 4 premiere figures of 16.1 million and an 8.2 rating by quite a large margin.

So can the show ever get that far up there again? Its best chance is going to come on February 9, when the show returns the week after the Super Bowl. It should draw big numbers due to simply a lack of similar competition, but with some of season 4 drawing criticism from fans, and with fourth seasons typically being the start of viewer fatigue, it would not surprise us at all for this to start to be the point where the ratings level off finally. Even if they do, AMC should still give itself a thunderous round of applause for doing this well in the first place. It’s done something that no cable drama has really done before in dominate all of network television, and with football and “The Big Bang Theory” being the only somewhat-decent competition in the demo.

The only other chance it will probably have to shatter this record would be on March 30, which could be the finale date unless there is a night of repeats in there at some point. The only tricky part there would be that this could mark the start of “Game of Thrones” season 4 … but even if it is, the Lannisters didn’t poke too big a hole in the numbers earlier this year, when the season 3 finale broke a record for that time.

Photo: AMC

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