Of course, there are a lot of factors to consider here, like just how much the way people watch television has changed, and that digital streaming and On Demand viewings aren't factored into these ratings—but even with all that, this is still the weirdest news you'll hear all day.
According to EW, which broke down The Walking Dead's crazy awesome, record-breaking ratings in a new post, AMC's zombie-killin' series is raking in ratings consistently higher than Sunday Night Football and CBS' The Big Bang Theory, which is practically unheard of for a cable television show—yet, its ratings are still lower than an NBC sitcom than ran for two years in the mid-'90s, The Single Guy.
After explaining just how great TWD's ratings are, EW breaks down all the past shows that TWD doesn't beat, primarily because in the '90s, DVR, Internet streaming, and On Demand weren't available for people to watch TV—everyone had to do it the old-fashioned way, by looking up schedules in their TV Guide and sitting in front of the television for appointment viewing:
What else from the past beats The Walking Dead?
Lot of stuff once you start going back in time, stripping away all those cable channels and the Internet, when broadcast ratings were enormous. Like:
• The second season of CBS’ Survivor (12.6) beats The Walking Dead.
• The final season of Seinfeld (18.0) in 97-98 completely trounces The Walking Dead.
• And if you go all the way back to 1995-96, even shows like NBC’s Caroline in the City (14.0) and Single Guy (12.6) beat The Walking Dead.
In other words: The Walking Dead's ratings are huge, but a short-lived Jonathan Silverman sitcom that ran on NBC between 1995 and 1997 still got higher ratings. Again, lots of factors to consider here (people didn't have the option of just streaming Parks & Recreation on Netflix instead!), but still—this is the weirdest ratings fact ever.