The Walking Dead: Dead City had the biggest cable drama debut of the year

The debut episode of The Walking Dead: Dead City drew in enough viewers to become the biggest cable drama premiere of the year

We’re about halfway done with 2023, and any cable drama premieres that come along in the second half of the year have a new viewership number to try to beat. The Hollywood Reporter shares the news that the Walking Dead spin-off The Walking Dead: Dead City (check out our review HERE) is now the biggest cable drama debut of the year, having drawn in 683,000 viewers as it aired on AMC last Sunday, with viewers of the simulcasts on BBC America and IFC, plus replays, boosting the number of viewers to 1.12 million. The Hollywood Reporter notes that “Dead City also became the top series premiere ever on the AMC+ streaming service, in both viewers and acquisition (i.e., people subscribing to watch a show), surpassing Anne Rice’s Mayfair Witches (though as usual with streaming platforms, detailed viewing figures aren’t made public).”

Of course, 1.12 million is far below the number of viewers that used to tune in for The Walking Dead at its peak, but it’s about in line with the viewership of the final season’s episodes, and as The Hollywood Reporter points out, “The days of millions of viewers watching a cable series on-air the night it debuts — at least one not named (or related to) Yellowstone — are largely past, but Dead City does compare favorably to several recent AMC premieres. The series beat the same-day viewer tallies for the first episodes of Interview With the Vampire (622,000 viewers), Mayfair Witches (577,000) and Tales of the Walking Dead (572,000).”

Eli Jorné, who has been a writer and co-executive producer on The Walking Dead for multiple seasons, serves as showrunner on The Walking Dead: Dead City. This show sees Maggie and Negan traveling into a post-apocalyptic Manhattan long ago cut off from the mainland. The crumbling city is filled with the dead and denizens who have made New York City their own world full of anarchy, danger, beauty, and terror. 

Lauren Cohan and Jeffrey Dean Morgan have been playing Maggie and Negan since season 2 and 6 (respectively) of The Walking Dead. Speaking with Entertainment Weekly, Cohan was the first to reveal that The Walking Dead: Dead City picks up “a few years” after the conclusion of The Walking Dead.

Joining Cohan and Morgan in the cast are Mahina Napoleon (NCIS: Hawai’i), Zeljko Ivanek (Madam Secretary), and Jonathan Higginbotham (Shining Vale). Gaius Charles (Fright Night Lights) is playing Izaak, who is “confident, ruthless, and unyielding in the pursuit of what he believes is justice, with the force of his will and his menace. Izaak enjoys his work and intersperses humor with the terror he incites. This is a family man, devoted to building a safe world for his wife and daughters. His journey unearths a loss he is haunted by. He has patience and resilience and walks rather than runs from his mistakes.”

Cohan, Morgan, and Jorné are executive producing The Walking Dead: Dead City with Scott M. Gimple, the Chief Content Officer of the Walking Dead Universe.

Did you tune in for the debut of The Walking Dead: Dead City? Let us know by leaving a comment below.

The Walking Dead: Dead City
Source: The Hollywood Reporter

About the Author

Cody is a news editor and film critic, focused on the horror arm of, and writes scripts for videos that are released through the JoBlo Originals and JoBlo Horror Originals YouTube channels. In his spare time, he's a globe-trotting digital nomad, runs a personal blog called Life Between Frames, and writes novels and screenplays.