The Walking Dead fandom is certainly not dying. Midway through its sixth season, the series is one of the most popular on television and on social media, according to Nielsen data. The AMC horror drama was the top TV show on Twitter in 2015, along with the year’s most time-shifted program and the No. 1 entertainment series among adults ages 18-49 and 18-34, reports Variety.
Topping its competition on Twitter is familiar ground for The Walking Dead — the zombie series won the honor in 2014 as well. There were roughly 424,000 tweets sent about each new episode in 2015, with an average of about 4 million people seeing at least one of them, according to Nielsen. Some 153,000 unique authors on average contributed to the barrage of tweets, and they were seen about 28 million times. The numbers put The Walking Dead ahead of other social media favorites like The Bachelor and Bachelorette, Game of Thrones, Empire, and more.
Compared to the other TV series in the top 10 on Twitter, only Empire inspired more tweets on average per episode (559,000). However, the Fox drama’s 137,000 unique authors on average couldn’t match up to The Walking Dead‘s 153,000, nor could its average unique audience of 2.53 million compared to the AMC series’ 3.978 million. In second place, The Bachelor‘s average unique audience was 3.59 million, but with an average of just 72,000 unique authors and 156,000 average tweets.
Looking at “live plus-7” estimates through mid-November, Nielsen found that The Walking Dead was the best-rated entertainment series in the coveted 18-49 and 18-34 demos. The series averaged an impressive 19.7 million viewers per episode, topping runner-up Empire, which averaged 17.8 million. It appears that time-shifting played a big part in the series’ success. Nielsen’s numbers find that The Walking Dead‘s audience grew by 10.89 million viewers through VOD and DVR use within a week of an episode’s original air date. By comparison, The Big Bang Theory viewership grew by 9.40 million, Empire by 7.66 million, and The Blacklist by 7.33 million.
The Walking Dead‘s ongoing popularity isn’t a surprise. Not only did it spawn a highly-rated spin-off series, Fear the Walking Dead, a Nielsen Social study revealed in August that Walking Dead fans were second only to Scandal‘s in social media loyalty during the 2014-15 TV season.