In what has become an all too common procedure for TV shows hoping to pump up viewership for the upcoming season AMC has renewed The walking Dead for a sixth season 5 days before season five premiers this Sunday. It seems like an awesome bit of fan service on the surface, but there’s a psychological motive behind it. People hate getting invested in a story if they are unsure that the story is going to continue. By telling fans that they don’t have to worry and “we promise this won’t be the last season of this show,” You greatly increase the chance that they’ll turn into this season.
Here’s the official news release that popped into my inbox a few minutes ago:
New York – October 7, 2014 – Days away from its season five premiere, AMC announced today that it has renewed “The Walking Dead,” the #1 show on television among adults 18-49 for the last two years and most highly-rated show in cable television history, for a sixth season. The season five premiere is this Sunday, Oct. 12, at 9 p.m. ET/PT, followed by the live season premiere of “Talking Dead” at 10 p.m. ET/PT with host Chris Hardwick and this week’s guests Scott M. Gimple, Greg Nicotero and Conan O’Brien.
“We could not be more excited for October 12th as we share new episodes of ‘The Walking Dead’ with fans around the globe,” said AMC President Charlie Collier. “In advance of Sunday’s season five premiere, AMC proudly confirms a sixth season order of this extraordinary series. Thank you to Robert Kirkman, Scott Gimple, the terrific executive producers, and the entire team who brings this compelling world and these rich characters to life. There’s plenty more Dead ahead thanks to their impressive, collective effort.”
Social media activity and interest around “The Walking Dead” is up significantly from the same period a year ago. For several weeks leading up to the season five premiere, the show has been #1 in digital engagement of all returning fall cable series, as measured by the ListenFirst Digital Audience Rating. The show’s social media following and fan engagement are at an all-time high with more than 30 million Facebook fans and 2.7 million Twitter followers, while video views of scenes and trailers for the upcoming season are well outpacing last year’s results.
For season six, Scott M. Gimple will return as the series’ showrunner and executive producer along with executive producers Robert Kirkman, Gale Anne Hurd, David Alpert, Greg Nicotero and Tom Luse. AMC also recently announced that it has ordered a pilot for a potential companion series to “The Walking Dead,” based on a new story and new characters from Robert Kirkman.
Around the world, “The Walking Dead” will again be “First on FOX,” with FOX International Channels (FIC) bringing the show to audiences globally within 24 hours after the U.S. launch. Season 5 premieres on October 13 in all of its 125+ markets as part of FIC’s continued commitment to broadcast the series day-and-date internationally. Following the U.S. trend, “The Walking Dead” continues to break records overseas and has more than tripled its numbers on FOX since its launch.
Whether commemorating favorite films from every genre and decade, or creating acclaimed original programming, AMC brings to its audience something deeper, something richer, Something More. The network reigns as the only cable network in history ever to win the Emmy® Award for Outstanding Drama Series four years in a row with “Mad Men,” and six of the last seven with current back-to-back honoree, “Breaking Bad.” The network boasts the most-watched drama series in basic cable history and the number one show on television among adults 18-49 for the last two years with “The Walking Dead.” AMC’s original drama series include “Mad Men,” “Breaking Bad,” “The Walking Dead,” “Hell on Wheels,” “TURN: Washington’s Spies,” “Halt and Catch Fire” and the forthcoming “Breaking Bad” prequel, “Better Call Saul.” AMC also explores authentic worlds with bold characters through its slate of unscripted original series like “Talking Dead,” “Comic Book Men,” “Game of Arms” and “4th and Loud.” AMC is owned and operated by AMC Networks Inc. and its sister networks include IFC, SundanceTV, and WE tv. AMC is available across all platforms, including on-air, online, on demand and mobile. AMC: Something More.
About FOX INTERNATIONAL CHANNELS
FOX International Channels (FIC) is 21st Century FOX’s international multi-media business. We develop, produce and distribute 300+ wholly- and majority-owned entertainment, sports, factual and movie channels in 45 languages across Latin America, Europe, Asia and Africa. FIC’s core channel brands include FOX, FOX Sports, FOX Life, FOX+ and National Geographic Channel. FIC’s movie channels include FOX Movies, FOX Movies Premium and Star Chinese Movies. Our non-linear brands include FOX Play, FOX Play+ and Nat Geo Play. These networks and their related mobile, non-linear and high-definition extensions, reach over 1.725 billion cumulative households worldwide. In addition, FIC owns and operates two production studios and produces thousands of local programming hours for its wholly owned channels and third parties. In operation since: August 14, 1993.