AMC's comic book hit keeps rolling in the accolades, this time becoming the top-rated TV show in 2013. That means a higher percentage of people watched The Walking Dead during its time slot than any other show on television this year, though it does not make it the most-watched show on television.
The overall rating for the zombie series, based on the comic book of the same name by Robert Kirkman, was an 8.6, with about 16 and a half million total viewers. The next highest rated show for 2013 was the seasonal Sunday Night Football on NBC, with an 8.3, but a higher 22.13 million viewers.
Other notables in the ratings race for the year include NBC's The Blacklist, starring James Spader, who will portray Ultron in the sequel to The Avengers, which was the highest-rated first year show on TV in 2013, coming in at #7 overall with a 5.2 rating and 17.11 million viewers. Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. was the second highest of new series, at #9 with 4.7 and 12.12 million. NCIS on CBS remained the most-watched show on television, with 23.24 million total viewers (but a rating of only 4.3, coming in at #17 overall).
So how can shows with more viewers have lower ratings, even in the same time slot? Well, ratings only count the premium demographic, those most likely to respond to advertisements and make purchases, the 18-49 year old set (most commonly). Shows like NCIS have an older demographic, so many of their viewers aren't counted in the ratings war.