The Walking Dead: Dead City premiere most watched drama debut of 2023

Lauren Cohan as Maggie Rhee- The Walking Dead: Dead City _ Season 1, Episode 1 - Photo Credit: Peter Kramer/AMC
Lauren Cohan as Maggie Rhee- The Walking Dead: Dead City _ Season 1, Episode 1 - Photo Credit: Peter Kramer/AMC /

Dead City premiered on AMC on June 18, and Hollywood Reporter reports this spinoff is the most-watched drama series debut of 2023. THR also announced that the AMC+ premiere was a huge success.

Fans of The Walking Dead series were sorely disappointed that the series ended in November 2022. After years of releasing spinoffs focused on new characters, AMC could finally feature familiar characters from the main series and continue those stories in new and unique ways. The first spinoff to release in 2023, The Walking Dead: Dead City, was highly anticipated because of the return of fan favorites Maggie (Lauren Cohan) and (Negan Jeffrey Dean Morgan), and fans were in deep need of something to fill the void the flagship series left.

This series sees the return of Maggie and Negan, characters who have long been enemies but have often had to put aside their differences to fight for the greater good. That is the case in Dead City when Maggie’s son Hershel (Logan Kim) is abducted by a former underling of Negan’s, The Croat (Željko Ivanek), and they track him to Manhattan. Negan is also being actively pursued by a marshal of New Babylon, Perlie Armstrong (Gaius Charles), who is tasked with keeping law & order in that community. Before teaming up with Maggie, Negan has become a father figure to a young girl, Ginny (Mahina Napoleon).

The Walking Dead: Dead City viewership

According to THR, Dead City debuted with 683,000 viewers on AMC. Simulcasts on BBC America, IFC, and replays on the first night pushed viewership to 1.12 million viewers. Another milestone for the series is its viewership of AMC’s core demographic of adults 25-54 with 283,000 viewers, another best among drama series debuts this year.

Regarding Dead City, Dan McDermott, president of entertainment and AMC Studios for AMC Networks said this.

"We are thrilled so many viewers joined Maggie and Negan in the streets of Manhattan for the first episode of The Walking Dead: Dead City. The thrill ride keeps rolling from here, and we can’t wait for the fans to see all the twists and turns in the city that never sleeps. Turns out walkers don’t sleep, either."

Dead City is also the top series premiere on AMC+ in regards to viewers and acquisitions (viewers subscribing to watch a specific show). This surpasses the debut of Anne Rice’s Mayfair Witches. 

AMC Premiere debut episode viewers 

  • Dead City  683,000
  • Interview With the Vampire 622,000
  • Mayfair Witches 577,000
  • Tales of the Walking Dead 572,000

The Walking Dead: Dead City will air new episodes weekly on AMC on Sundays at 9 p.m. ET. AMC+ subscribers can watch new episodes three days early on Thursdays.

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