‘Young Sheldon,’ ‘The Big Bang Theory,’ And ‘The Walking Dead’: Ratings Winners And Losers This Fall

Young Sheldon and Big Bang Theory are bringing home the bacon for CBS, and The Walking Dead is hopefully gaining steam again as the overwhelming AMC favorite. This is Us is setting itself apart on NBC. As for the rest of scripted television, the ratings are a bit dismal, with few exceptions.

Despite The Walking Dead, Young Sheldon, and The Big Bang Theory, networks are struggling with sliding ratings overall. It seems the gulf between winners like The Big Bang Theory spin-off Young Sheldon and the multitude of losers in the ratings game is widening.

The Big Bang Theory fans have high expectations for Young Sheldon. Sheldon Cooper is a fascinating character. Everyone wants to know more about The Big Bang Theory’s Sheldon. CBS is hoping the fascination with Young Sheldon doesn’t wear off.

Young Sheldon’s premiere and Big Bang Theory are on top at CBS, with 17.209 million and 14.209 million viewers respectively according to TV Series Finale. NCIS, Bull, and NCIS Miami are attracting 9-13 million older viewers on CBS, but not getting that coveted young adult demographic.

The Walking Dead is AMC’s only major hit show, but when it comes to reaching that 18 to 49 demographic, The Walking Dead has no parallel. CBS, ABC, and NBC have nothing that comes close.

Not even Young Sheldon and Big Bang Theory pull those young adult ratings like The Walking Dead. TV Series Finale reports 11.439 million total viewers, 5.03 million young adult viewers watched the season premiere of The Walking Dead, but that is a terrible low for The Walking Dead. Last year over 8 million young viewers watched The Walking Dead season premiere.



The 18-49 demographic for The Big Bang Theory and Young Sheldon come in second and third when comparing ABC, NBC, CBS, and AMC, with Young Sheldon pulling 3.82 million younger viewers and The Big Bang Theory attracting 3.15 million young adult viewers according to TV Season Finale.

NBC has This Is Us coming in as their chart-topper by far. With 11.253 million viewers and 3.11 million young adults tuning in this season, This Is Us is somewhat competitive with CBS’ Big Bang Theory and AMC’s Walking Dead.

Young Sheldon‘s premiere drew almost unprecedented numbers, probably due to the popularity of The Big Bang Theory. The Walking Dead drew phenomenal numbers like Young Sheldon for The Walking Dead season premiere last season, according to this from the Inquisitr.

Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Negan on The Walking Dead
Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Negan on ‘The Walking Dead’ [Image by Gene Page/AMC]

The Season 7 premiere of The Walking Dead attracted about 17 million total viewers and 8.4 million young adult viewers. Yet, even The Walking Dead‘s viewership was off by millions by the end of last season, and now they must try to regain viewers.

The Walking Dead, Young Sheldon, The Big Bang Theory, and This Is Us are the good news for scripted television. The majority of other shows on the networks are seeing a vast decline. Apparently, viewers have gotten more selective about their TV viewing.

While Young Sheldon and The Big Bang Theory are attracting younger viewers to CBS, none of their other shows are reaching more than 1.45 million younger viewers. With three new shows yet to premiere this season though, perhaps the best of CBS is yet to be seen.

The Walking Dead, Young Sheldon, This is Us, and Big Bang Theory are off to a solid start in 2017, but what about the rest? AMC’s second-place show, Fear The Walking Dead, is pulling in a mere 2.364 million viewers.

ABC Has Grey’s Anatomy with 8 million viewers and a 2.23 on the demographic. The Good Doctor premiere attracted 10.763 million total viewers and a 2.4 on the demographic. Other ABC shows are attracting 2-7 million viewers and less than 1.9 million younger viewers — in some cases a lot less.

While This Is Us is doing very well, and Will and Grace has 7.6 million viewers, everything else on NBC has 4-6 million viewers according to TV Series Finale.


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Young Sheldon is a rising star, The Big Bang Theory a favorite, and The Walking Dead vows to rise again, but other shows are struggling for ratings.

[Featured Image by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP and Gene Page/AMC]