NEW YORK — The new "Fear the Walking Dead," which drew the biggest audience for any original series premiere on a cable network, proves that AMC has the flair for spinoffs.
An estimated 10.13 million people watched the premiere Sunday night, the Nielsen company said. The well-reviewed series is set in a different location and different time than AMC's "The Walking Dead."
The previous record-holder for top cable series premiere, "Better Call Saul," is AMC's spinoff of the series "Breaking Bad."
"Fear the Walking Dead" had nearly double the viewers of the top scripted drama on network television, CBS' "Zoo," which was seen by 5.85 million last week. The gap was even wider among the 18-to-49-year-old demographic most prized by advertisers. The AMC show had 6.3 million viewers in this demographic; "Zoo" had 1.2 million, Nielsen said.
The ratings are "all the more special in this era of time-shifted viewing and audience fragmentation," said Charlie Collier, AMC president. "None of it is possible without the fans, whose passion leads to these remarkable results."
CBS won the week in prime time, averaging 5 million viewers. NBC had 4.5 million, ABC had 3.3 million, Fox had 2.8 million, Univision had 2 million, Telemundo had 1.5 million, ION Television had 1.2 million and the CW had 1.1 million.
Fox News Channel was the week's most popular cable network, averaging 1.94 million viewers in prime-time. The Disney Channel had 1.77 million, AMC had 1.76 million, USA had 1.65 million and HGTV had 1.57 million.
NBC's "Nightly News" topped the evening newscasts with an average of 8.2 million viewers. ABC's "World News Tonight" was second with 7.9 million and the "CBS Evening News" had 6.4 million viewers.
For the week of Aug. 17-23, the top 10 shows, their networks and viewerships: "America's Got Talent" (Tuesday), NBC, 10.86 million; "Fear the Walking Dead," AMC, 10.13 million; "America's Got Talent" (Wednesday), NBC, 9.12 million; "NCIS," CBS, 8.34 million; "60 Minutes," CBS, 7.56 million; "The Big Bang Theory," CBS, 6.82 million; "American Ninja Warrior," NBC, 6.81 million; "Big Brother" (Wednesday), CBS, 6.52 million; "Big Brother" (Thursday), CBS, 6.48 million; "Big Brother" (Sunday), CBS, 6.15 million.
ABC is owned by The Walt Disney Co. CBS is owned by CBS Corp. CW is a joint venture of Warner Bros. Entertainment and CBS Corp. Fox is owned by 21st Century Fox. NBC and Telemundo are owned by Comcast Corp. ION Television is owned by ION Media Networks.
David Bauder, The Associated Press