“The Walking Dead” season one finale drew plenty of live bodies: 6 million to be exact. That’s a record for AMC.
The four million 18 to 49 year olds are the most for a basic cable drama series. (NFL games on ESPN and “The Sopranos” on pay cable have exceeded that number.)
Over six episodes, the show averaged more than 5 million viewers and 3.5 million 18-to-49 year olds. It’s a bonafide hit any way you look at it.
Including the two repeat episodes last night, the show drew 8.1 million viewers.
It is by far the most popular of shows shooting in Atlanta. The other big ones: “The Vampire Diaries” draw 3.5 million viewers a week on the CW. Lifetime’s “Drop Dead Diva” brings in 2.5 to 3 million viewers a week. “The Real Housewives of Atlanta” is averaging close to 3 million viewer a week for Bravo.
SPOILER ALERT FOR FOLKS WHO HAVE YET TO SEE THE FINALE: Wow! You’ll never see the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre quite the same anymore, eh? Kaboom!
No wonder Dr. Edwin Jenner (Noah Emmerich), the last man standing at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, wanted to die. The energy that fueled the place and protected him from the zombies was about to go for good. And it was touching that the only reason why he didn’t quit was because his much smarter scientist of a wife had gotten bitten and had asked him to try to figure it out. Sadly, his experiment in which he watched her die, then come back as a zombie, did absolutely nothing to explain why zombification happens or if there is any way to stop it.
In other words, the survivors came and found a dead end (literally) in a place that should have provided more hope.
And leader Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) was grappling with that fragile thing called hope. While drunk, he pondered his own doubts and why he was keeping everyone else’s spirits up. Fortunately, once sober, he decided it was worth leaving the building and try to live on for the sake of humanity. And alas, they escaped just as the place exploded – an automatic move by the CDC since it is home to many a deadly virus (ironically).
In reality, I do find it hard to believe not more scientists would have stuck it out until the end, even if it was a metaphorical sinking Titanic.
And future plot points to be pondered: what’s up with Merle, the racist dude who escaped the roof after cutting off his hand, “127 Hours” style. What did Jenner whisper to Rick just before he left the building? (left) Plus, when will Rick find out about Shane and Lori?
I also decided to ask a CDC spokeswoman what she thought of the finale. She laughed. “I want to know where that wine came from!” she said. More seriously, she said, “These folks didn’t consult us at all. This was an entirely fictionalized depiction for dramatic license purposes.” She said there is no set up at the CDC to blow up in case of a zombie apocalypse.
Tom Rowland, director of marketing and sponsorship at the Cobb Energy Centre, missed the big explosion. “I’m three episodes behind on my DVR,” he said. But he did know one thing: “They will not be back here filming for season two.”
By Rodney Ho, firstname.lastname@example.org, AJCRadioTV blog