AMC’s Fear The Walking Dead entered the big kids’ pool last week when it went up against HBO’s Game of Thrones. So just how did AMC’s newest zombie apocalypse drama rate against HBO’s epic fantasy? Will Fear survive? Or is Game of Thrones actually under threat?
While AMC’s The Walking Dead is basically untouchable when it comes to viewers, its companion program, Fear The Walking Dead, has received mixed reviews. Some fans love the slower pace of Fear because it shows the lead up to the zombie apocalypse that was missed in The Walking Dead thanks to Rick Grimes taking a nap. However, other Walking Dead fans find the show too slow and the characters lacking in intelligence because the viewership already knows the dangers of the infected and have a hard time stepping back into earlier, more naive times.
According to Zap2It, Game of Thrones reigned supreme with its Season 6 premiere last Sunday. However, when the overall viewership from the three days after is considered, Game of Thrones actually falls behind Fear The Walking Dead. So what does that actually mean? Basically, people are choosing to watch Game of Thrones as it airs but are recording Fear The Walking Dead or viewing it the day after because they also want their Walking Dead fix.
The difference between the two shows last Sunday night was 1.5 million on the night of airing alone. 4.8 million viewers chose to watch Game of Thrones whereas, 3.3 million tuned into Fear The Walking Dead. Over the span of three days, though, Game of Thrones had picked up 7.94 million viewers. Fear, on the other hand, ended up with an overall total of 4.73 million viewers. This is down significantly from Season 1 when the show premiered at 10.13 million viewers and fell to 6.86 million by the Season 1 finale. However, this final viewership rating for Fear The Walking Dead seems to have carried through to the Season 2 premiere and Episode 2 only dropping when Game of Thrones aired last Sunday night.
It’s likely Game of Thrones numbers will drop slightly this Sunday as is the usual case of more people tuning in for premieres and finales than regular episodes. The question is just how much will the viewership drop? Traditionally, for Game of Thrones it has been somewhere in the ballpark of a 100,000-300,000 drop in viewership between Episode 1 and 2. However, this quite often picked up again in Episode 3 and onwards. Season 5 of Game of Thrones, however, was the exception to the rule when Episode 1 raked in, in total, 8 million views and then dropped dramatically to 6.81 million overall views. By the Season 5 finale, though, the viewership was back to premiere levels. That’s a difference of nearly 1.2 million viewers and nearly puts it in a position where Fear The Walking Dead could be considered a real contender.
As Forbes points out, while Fear The Walking Dead is pulling in slightly lower numbers for Season 2 of the companion program, it is still pulling in enough viewers to make it the highest-ranking show on cable when Game of Thrones isn’t in direct competition with it. They also note though that perhaps AMC and HBO have been avoiding a direct head-to-head competition between the biggest shows on cable because to do so may be to their own detriment.
So what will you be watching tonight on TV? Will the mystery still surrounding Jon Snow in Game of Thrones be your first pick or are you curious about just how long Nick Clark will wear his infected costume in Fear The Walking Dead? Let us know by commenting below!
[Image via AMC and HBO Inc.]