The 14 million households that have Dish Network were able to watch “The Walking Dead” in time last night for the second episode. (AMC made the episode available to Dish Network customers online for the opener.)
AMC finally resolved its rather complicated months-long tussle with Dish Network over rates and in a sense, an unrelated lawsuit.
Dish has stood as the lowest cost option among satellite and cable land operators but it also means it’s played hardball with cable networks. During the dispute, AMC has encouraged people for months to sign on to other operators, even creating a zombie for president who’s entire campaign was focused around the fact Dish didn’t carry “The Walking Dead.”
More details here.
Ratings last night fell off from the whopping 10.9 million opener to 9.5 million, still a huge number. In general, that’s a typical drop off for a second episode but it also includes Dish Network subscribers unavailable last week. We’ll have to see how episode 3 holds up. The 18-49 rating of 5.1 was higher than that of big network shows such as “The Big Bang Theory,” “Modern Family” and “The Voice.
Rick Grimes’ Andrew Lincoln did a phone conference with bloggers and writers today. He is quite the loquacious one and it’s a bit disconcerting to listen to hear him revert to his native British accent in conversation.
On what happened over the seven-eight months we didn’t see: Lincoln said the group learned how to break into homes, using a trial-by-error methodology that we saw in the opening scene. And Rick and Lori never touched each other over that time. The fact he touched her shoulder at the end of episode two after she saved Hershel was actually a breakthrough. “As an actor, it’s my job to fill in the gaps,” he said. He said during the winter, they were able to hunker down in spots because the walkers in colder weather moved slower and were easier to deal with.
On Rick’s moral compass vs. that of the Governor: “I think the Governor has made peace with the death. He doesn’t carry the responsibility or guilt as much as Rick. That’s where they diverge. Every death still costs him, changes him.
On letting the prisoner with the bat get eaten by zombies: “He was behaving in the moment in an irrational and reckless way. I wanted it to almost feel like a serial killer running after his prey in ‘American Psycho.’ I do think over the course of the season, people start to doubt Rick’s decision making as a leader. It’s like a tragic Greek tale where his decisions will come back to haunt him. He is sort of coming apart. He’s doing a good impersonation of someone holding it together at that moment.”
On the symbiosis between Rick and Daryl: “They’ve built up a common understanding. Everything is unspoken. Daryl’s the wingman. They’re both men that aren’t particularly good at articulating their interiors. I love that. It’s an old-fashioned alpha male thing. Shane and Rick knew each other. These guys don’t but they have an incredible mutual respect. Daryl understands the burden of responsibility Rick carries.”
Gale Anne Hurd, an executive producer, also piped in about Woodbury: “It was actually shot in the town of Senoia… The Governor is trying to recreate civilization with a greater sense of normalcy where people can feel safe. It’s almost like a medieval walled city and has a feeling of Mayberry. What will humanity be like if you can relax a little and not worry as much about when the next attack is coming.”
[TEASER: You will finally see Woodbury this Sunday.]