A scene from Sunday's premiere episode of "Fear the Walking Dead," on AMC (Photo by AMC Holdings LLC).
LOS ANGELES - "Fear the Walking Dead," AMC's highly publicized companion series to its hit "The Walking Dead," premiered to monster ratings Sunday, making it the biggest premiere for a cable series ever.
According to Nielsen, the 90-minute debut of “Fear the Walking Dead” became the highest-rated cable series launch on record with an estimated 10.1 million viewers, or about 6.3 million adults ages18-49. In total viewers, “Fear” topped TNT’s “Raising the Bar” in total viewers which had the previous record with 7.7 million in 2008.
In the 18-49 demographic, "Fear" bested previous record holder, AMC’s “Better Call Saul” which garnered 4.4 million viewers in that demo earlier this year. For AMC, the record numbers are seemingly old hat as it now boasts three of the top five cable premiers of all time, with “The Walking Dead” in fifth place.
The new show stars Cliff Curtis as Travis, a teacher who shares custody of a son Chris (Lorenzo James Henrie) with his ex-wife Liza (Elizabeth Rodriguez) and is involved with guidance counselor Madison (Kim Dickens). The cast includes Alycia Debnam Carey, Ruben Blades and Mercedes Mason.
The series opens in Los Angeles upon the outbreak of the disease that begins infecting everyone - an aspect of the original series that was generally overlooked since it took place during the period when Rick Grimes was in a coma in Atlanta.