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'Hell on Wheels' rolls out big ratings for AMC

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Hell On Wheels
AMC

AMC’s new Western drama delivered the network’s second biggest premiere audience ever.

Hell on Wheels had 4.4 million viewers Sunday night. The post-Civil War drama had a fairly strong 2.4 million in the adult demo — that’s particularly good news since Westerns tend to draw an older crowd. The success is tempered somewhat by the fact Wheels had an even bigger lead in from The Walking Dead (6.3 million), but that’s sort of a weak complaint — Your big TV show rating wasn’t as big as your other big TV show rating. This is actually the first time AMC has been able to use its highest rated show to fuel another series.

The Walking Dead has some positive news too — the zombie drama rose for the first time this second season, reversing its trend to rise slightly. Even with its large overall audience, those weekly drops in the wake of showrunner Frank Darabont’s departure had to have been getting a tad worrisome …