Cable Ratings: The Walking Dead Premieres Way Down, Outlander Soars

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After what seemed like an eternity, The Walking Dead Season 8 finally debuted on Sunday night, and while the episode was a significant improvement creatively over any of the nonsense from The Walking Dead Season 7, its ratings were way down. 

Gabriel At The Ready - The Walking Dead Season 8 Episode 1

The Walking Dead Season 8 Episode 1 secured 11.4 million viewers and a 5.0 rating among adults 18-49. That will be enough to dominate the week as the top scripted series.

The numbers are still excellent, but it marks the lowest rated opener since The Walking Dead Season 3 (10.9 million/3.8 rating). Last year's opener secured 17 million viewers and an 8.4 rating. 

The Walking Dead Season 7 ultimately averaged 11.3 million viewers and a 5.4 rating. The series does tend to fall double digits the week after the premiere, so we will see if the new season follows the same trajectory. 

Eye For An Eye - The Walking Dead Season 8 Episode 1

Meanwhile, a highly anticipated episode of Outlander sent the series soaring to series highs. Sunday's episode secured 1.7 million viewers and a 0.4 rating. That's almost double what the equivalent episode of Outlander Season 2 achieved. 

The episode represented a huge turning point for the series, so it makes sense that people would want to watch it live. Outlander Season 3 is currently averaging 1.6 million viewers and a 0.3 rating. 

Ray Has a Gun - Ray Donovan Season 5 Episode 10

The just-renewed Ray Donovan continued to hold up for Showtime. It managed 1.2 million viewers and a 0.3 rating, which is in line with the Ray Donovan Season 5 average (1.1 million/0.3 rating). 

Over to you, TV Fanatics!

What do you think of The Walking Dead's dip? Is it a sign of things to come for the AMC drama series?

Sound off below!

Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.

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