AMC's "The Walking Dead" is among the most popular shows...

AMC's "The Walking Dead" is among the most popular shows on TV. Credit: AP

"The Walking Dead," which returned for its fourth season Sunday, reached a plateau not seen over those four seasons to date, and certainly not one anticipated either, considering  that the face-eating, gut-consuming undead  are behind this record: 16.1 million viewers, or the third highest viewership total for any entertainment program on TV of the fall season so far ("CSI" and "The Big Bang Theory" remain ahead in that category.)  

 "Dead" could not overtake "Sunday Night Football" either -- 19.7 million. However, "Dead" easily remains TV's highest-rated show among young adults, 18-49, so far this season.

The season premiere could and also should overtake that football figure, however, when playback figures -- so-called video on demand ratings  -- are incorporated into the total later this week. 

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