'The Walking Dead' still a ratings monster with mid-season finale

Sunday's 'The Walking Dead' was the show's highest-rated mid-season finale to date with 14.8 million viewers

Audiences may be drying their eyes after the heartbreaking conclusion of Sunday's midseason finale to "The Walking Dead," but AMC executives have to be grinning ear to ear after another episode of record ratings.

"Coda," the last new episode of "The Walking Dead" until February, grabbed 14.8 million viewers, making it the highest-rated mid-season finale in series history. The episode drew 23% more viewers than the mid-season finale last year.

To date, the show's fifth season is up 12% in total viewers over the fourth season. And not surprisingly, it's the top-rated show in all of television in the key demographic of adults 18-49. Five episodes of the fifth season have even topped "Sunday Night Football" in total viewers.

The rising tide of "The Walking Dead" has even helped its aftershow, "Talking Dead," which also hit a ratings milestone on Sunday night, grabbing 6.6 million viewers, making it the highest-rated mid-season finale episode to date.

It helped that "Talking Dead" on Sunday featured actress Emily Kinney, who plays Beth on the series. Spoiler alert: Kinney's character died in the closing moments of Sunday's episode. So her presence on the couch, talking to host Chris Hardwick, was surely a bit calming and reassuring to emotionally distraught fans.

In social media, the mid-season finale increased discussion of the series on Twitter to 1.1 million tweets, aided in part by actor Norman Reedus doing a Q&A during the episode.

The fifth season will resume on Feb. 8.

Follow me on Twitter: @patrickkevinday

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