‘The Walking Dead’ Versus ‘Westworld’: Who Won In The Ratings War?

HBO’s Westworld has garnered many new fans in its first four episodes of Season 1. However, now AMC’s juggernaut, The Walking Dead, has returned to Sunday nights to compete with it. So, who won in the ratings war last Sunday?

Spoiler alert: This article discusses Season 7 of AMC’s The Walking Dead and Season 1 of HBO’s Westworld. Please proceed with caution if you wish to avoid spoilers.

HBO’s latest sensation, Westworld, has managed to rope in a nice group of dedicated fans after only four episodes. However, will this change now that AMC’s The Walking Dead has returned to Sunday nights?

HBO's 'Westworld,' Season 1, Episode 3 vs. AMC's ' The Walking Dead'
[Image by HBO]

Westworld has managed to pull in good viewership numbers for HBO. To date, the Season 1 premiere episode has been seen by 12 million viewers according to Entertainment Weekly. This is a cumulative number, as HBO relies on total viewership per episode rather than first time airing, thanks to not having to rely on advertisement spots to pay their way. However, if you want to look at overnight viewership ratings, Westworld‘s best ever episode was its second one. 2.1 million viewers checked out this episode on its premiere night.

However, now that AMC’s The Walking Dead has returned to Sunday nights — and in the same time slot — will this see a decline in viewing numbers for Westworld?

The Season 7 premiere of The Walking Dead managed to lure in around 17 million viewers. A huge number, for sure, but not the highest ever rating according to Entertainment Weekly. That prize goes to the Season 5 premiere of The Walking Dead, when 17.3 million overnight viewers tuned in. Regardless of its own personal best, Episode 1 (entitled “The Day Will Come When You Won’t Be”) of The Walking Dead‘s seventh season still beat absolutely everything else on television on Sunday night.

AMC's 'The Walking Dead,' Season 7 premiere vs. HBO's 'Westworld,' Season 1, Episode 4
[Image by AMC]

The Walking Dead‘s numbers are impressive, but if you compare them to Westworld‘s premiere episode viewers to date, there is only a difference of 5 million viewers. Considering The Walking Dead is entering its seventh season and Westworld is only just getting started, 12 million viewers is certainly impressive. According to TV By The Numbers, Episode 1 of The Walking Dead‘s first season pulled in 5.35 million viewers.

With the return of The Walking Dead to Sunday night, Westworld‘s viewership did take a ratings tumble. Episode 4 (entitled “Dissonance Theory”) of Westworld pulled in 1.7 million viewers when it came head to head with The Walking Dead on Sunday night. As EW pointed out, that is a 19 percent dip in their normal ratings. But, if 2.1 million first night viewers is Westworld‘s personal best, 1.7 million is still a decent ratings number.

What will be interesting to see is if Episode 2 of The Walking Dead will lose viewers next Sunday night. The Season 7 premiere was a grueling episode that left many fans not sure if they really wanted to tune in anymore. While many fans say this from week to week as they come across episodes they do not like in their favorite programs, AMC will have to wait until after the ratings are in following next Sunday night’s airing to find out just how serious fans are with this threat. If Walking Dead fans do choose to tune out, Westworld could potentially regain some of its viewership slip from last Sunday.

What will you be watching this Sunday night, AMC’s The Walking Dead or HBO’s Westworld? Let us know by commenting below.

Episode 5 (entitled “Contrapasso”) of Westworld will air on HBO on Sunday, October 30, at 9 p.m. The synopsis is below.

“Dolores, William and Logan reach Pariah, a town built on decadence and transgression, and are recruited for a dangerous mission; The Man in Black meets an unlikely ally in his search to unlock the maze.”

Episode 2 (entitled “The Well”) of The Walking Dead will air on AMC in Sunday, October 30, at 9 p.m. The synopsis is below.

“Following a number of familiar faces, we are introduced to a new well-established community that seems too good to be true.”

[Featured Image by AMC/HBO]