Since 2010, AMC’s The Walking Dead has been steadily growing its audience, with increasingly high ratings. The zombie series is even eclipsing NBC’s NFL Sunday Night Football by eight percent. This week’s episode, “Indifference,” drew in 8.7 million viewers, while the NFL took in 8.1 million watchers. It’s no surprise that Robert Kirkman’s series about the aftermath of the zombie apocalypse is a pop culture phenomenon in the United States. But would it be shocking to hear that The Walking Dead is also a ratings magnet in China?
According to The Seattle Times, The Walking Dead draws in about 27 million viewers on the Chinese version of YouTube, called Youku. In China, the zombie series is called “xingshi zourou,” which translates to “Traveling Corpses, Walking Meat.” All of the series’ episodes are on the Chinese video site and have accumulated over 250 million views. The show is also a frequent trending topic on Weibo, the Chinese equivalent of Twitter.
One of the reasons why The Walking Dead is so popular with Chinese audiences is because there is no zombie alternative in China. Chinese audiences are much like American audiences when it comes to blood, gore, and violence on television. There is no rating system for television shows, so violent content is rare, but in the past, Chinese authorities have banned certain television shows for being too violent for any viewer. The Walking Dead re-affirms my faith in humanity. No matter what we believe in or where we’re from on this giant planet, we can all rally against the zombie apocalypse.
AMC brought The Walking Dead to New York Comic-Con this past October. The show’s panel appearances from the cast and crew took place just before the season four premiere episode aired. While the panel videos from Blastr didn’t cover the then-upcoming episode (we’ve all watched it by now), they did pose some fun questions for the panelists, mostly for Lauren Cohen, who plays Maggie.
The question: which character would Maggie choose to save, Hershel (her father) or Glen (her boyfriend)? The answer is hilariously surprising. Considering the dire circumstances, if I were Maggie, I’d probably choose to save Glen instead of my crippled father.
The panel also revealed the new additions to the cast that we’ll see in season four. Christian Serratos will play the character of Rosita Espinosa, while Josh McDermitt will play Eugene Porter, and Michael Cudlitz will play Abraham Ford. In the comic book, Rick and the other survivors leave the prison and set out for Washington D.C.
Lastly, the best part of the New York Comic-Con panel was when a fan asked Lauren Cohen why Glen has to protect Maggie if she’s such a badass. It’s hilarious to see Steven Yeun’s reaction to this question.
The Walking Dead will air episode five of season four, “Internment,” next Sunday, November 10, on AMC.