AMC’S Niche Show The Walking Dead Broke TV Records
When AMC picked The Walking Dead for its Fall 2010 lineup they had no idea the show would go on to become a record breaker. Even though audience for the first season, which had only six episodes, were strong enough to convince the network to order a second season the second season’s viewer numbers blew network executives away.
They shouldn’t have been surprised. The Walking Dead was an instant cult classic that also fared well with critics and was able to draw in fans who had never even heard of the graphic novels just based on the quality of the show and the casting. Based on the graphic novel of the same name The Walking Dead portrays the struggles of a small band of humans left to try and scratch out a life and survive day to day after a zombie apocalypse in the US. The second season finale drew in nine million viewers and set the record for the highest amount of viewers ever to watch a basic tv drama. That figure doesn’t include the millions who watched the show online or recorded it to watch later. The third season of The Walking Dead is set to premier in October of 2012 and promises to smash even more records.
While the first two seasons of the show dealt primarily with the survivors trying to adapt to the dangers of walkers and trying to survive in a post apocalyptic world the third season is adding a new element of danger with the addition of other groups of survivors. Additional stresses will be placed on the survivors as they try to figure out how to defend themselves from both walkers and hostile survivors from other groups. In the first two seasons the show took risks by killing off main characters but those risks paid off because it brought a sense of realism to the show as fans saw that no one was immune from the risk of death on the show just like no one would be immune from risk if the situation were real.
Psychologists say that modern culture is obsessed with zombies because of the very real threat of a bio attack or virus outbreak that could decimate the population. When people watch The Walking Dead, which is set in modern day Atlanta and the surrounding areas of Georgia and is filmed on location, they can imagine themselves in a similar situation and they watch the show not only to see how people react to the post-disaster world but also to pick up on clues on how they would deal with it should something similar happen in the real world. In the finale of the second season of The Walking Dead Rick revealed what a scientist at the CDC told him after the survivors had tried to find safety there which indicated that everyone, even the survivors, had already been infected with the virus that caused people to turn into zombies and it was impossible to tell who would become a zombie and who wouldn’t. You can bet that millions of new fans as well as old fans will be tuning in to The Walking Dead this fall to find out who will turn and who will be left to try and survive.