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Zombies crush Rally to Restore Sanity -- ratings-wise

By Lisa de Moraes

jonas

An overhead view of the rally. (Reuters)


About 2 million people watched the live telecast of the Rally to Restore Sanity on Comedy Central Saturday
.
About 5 million watched the debut of a zombie show the next night on AMC.

"It's a good day to be dead," AMC president Charlie Collier gloated Monday.

No word from Comedy Central in re whether it was a good day to be a citizen of voting age.
Also no word yet from creators of AMC's other series, "Mad Men" and "Breaking Bad," in re how they feel about eating the dust of "The Walking Dead."

The "Walking Dead" numbers are for its initial Sunday night telecast only.

The Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear ratings are for its initial, live telecast on Comedy Central only. The 2 million also does not include those who watched it live on C-Span which is not rated by Nielsen.


Zombies netted 5 million viewers on Halloween night. (AMC)

While no zombie-fest -- or Comic-con where zombie aficionados got their first peek at "The Walking Dead" in July -- the Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear was a ratings success of sorts.

The rally -- which included performances by John Legend, Sheryl Crow, Kid Rock, and an aborted poignant performance by Yusuf Islam (the artist formerly known at Cat Stevens) which Stephen Colbert interrupted for the sake of one of his look-at-me,-I'm-a-rabid-fear-monger gags -- attracted nearly 400 percent more viewers than the network has recently averaged on Saturdays in the middle of the day (and in the late morning on the West Coast).

This may sound like damning with faint praise, and in the interest of full disclosure we must note that the percentage of the country's population on the East Coast using their TV's at noon Sundays - and on the West Coast using their TV's at 9 a.m. - is very small compared to the percentage of the population that uses their TV's in primetime.

So zombies did have a huge advantage over the comics and their rally. On the other hand, it was a zombie show. And they were a rally to restore sanity. Had they restored sanity, shouldn't the rally have attracted at least as many people as, you know, zombies?

So, there is not getting around the fact that the premiere of "The Walking Dead" bagged a much bigger crowd -- and the biggest audience ever for any original series on AMC.

stewart
Stewart addresses the crowd. (Astrid Riecken for The Washington Post)

End of speech

We like to think of "The Walking Dead" as an allegory for the Comcast/NBC merger, as has been suggested by at least one former NBC exec. And, AMC's president Collier did note Monday that 'The Walking Dead' "is that rare piece of programming that works on so many levels."

He did not, however include "allegory for Comcast/NBC merger in among those "levels." Instead, he insisted the show "is legitimately great storytelling" and "not only highly entertaining, but incredibly thought provoking as well."

Comedy Central, meanwhile, late Monday afternoon noted the 570,000 live video streams of its rally, which makes it "one of the biggest live streaming events ever for MTV Networks." (Comedy Central is one of the MTV Networks)

The network also says event organizers "feel feel confident that over 250,000 people attended the rally, which was held on the Mall in Washington. And, the network added, the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority says the Metro set a new high for Saturday Metrorail ridership the day of the rally, breaking a 19 year-old record.

Of course, the rally was not the only thing going on in Washington that day. It was the weekend of Howard University homecoming, for instance, and many people had come to town early for Sunday morning's Marine Corps Marathon.

By Lisa de Moraes  | November 1, 2010; 4:23 PM ET
Categories:  Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear  
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Comments

Putting the TEA PARTY politician-replacements into power in the House and Senate is the SINGLE BEST THING that the American VOTER/TAXPAYER can do to TRY to save the Nation from becoming the chaotic SEWER that Mexico has become.

Looking at the SICK Rally to Restore Sanity crowd last Saturday shows how much IGNORANCE and CARELESSNESS and GREED there is in America, even with the SUPPOSED better-educated WHITE crowd, all to willing to give up their FREEDOM for some kind of Utopian Security PROMISED to them by their leaders.

"Things are improving. Just give it time. It's all Bush's fault."

Yeah, right.

Interesting the ADORATION of Yusuf Islam on the Rally stage.

When ISLAM ascends to the majority pop. in the U.S. (and Obungler just authorized allowing 80,000 more of these sick maniacs to immigrate and live next to YOU) it will be Yusuf's DUTY as a 'good Muslim' to enforce the fatwas to convert or KILL the Infidel (most people in the Rally crowd). That includes ALL HOMOS, even if they convert to Islam, and, *ESPECIALLY* if they convert. It includes those millions of Americans who use illegal DRUGS, like WEED, but, also, ALCOHOL. Whiskey is a CUT-YOUR-THROAT offense in Islam.

Stuart and Colbert and the LEMMINGS in their audience APPLAUDED Y.I. like the Jews who cooperated with the NAZI German state but were LED TO THEIR SLAUGHTER instead.

And, look at all the WOMEN who applauded Yusuf Islam at the Rally.

Why would Oprah EVER applaud MASSA?

It's ALL OVER for WOMEN if ISLAM takes over in America. Forget all about that 'You've Come A Long Way, Baby.' *CHANGE* thingy in the U.S. if Sharia Law usurps traditional Western Juris.

Islam is MAJOR into MALE CONTROL of EVERYTHING, you female IDIOTS.

LOL

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Posted by: aTeaGALA | November 1, 2010 7:53 PM | Report abuse

"Of course, the rally was not the only thing going on in Washington that day. It was the weekend of Howard University homecoming, for instance, and many people had come to town early for Sunday morning's Marine Corps Marathon. "

Are you f#$king serious? You guys not only refuse to write a cover story about a 250k rally happening in our nation's capital, but you try to make it seem irrelevant by comparing it to a TV show's opening ratings (I could pull that trick on any political broadcast with football!) and then add this little paragraph to close?? Might all this downplaying have to do with Stewart's speech about how you people and your institution have thoroughly f#$ked this nation's ability to have a national discourse? Are you people that insecure?? I used to respect the Washington Post, but this is sad.

Posted by: donaltc | November 1, 2010 7:55 PM | Report abuse

Lisa,

To borrow a phrase often used in this column, you have "jumped the shark." Please find a nice niche blog to practice your craft. Your heart's just not in this anymore.

Posted by: uppermonty | November 1, 2010 7:58 PM | Report abuse

Lisa, I like your insinuation that the Howard Univ homecoming contributed a significant proportion to the 853K metro rides. Zombies have eaten your brain.

Posted by: needletoofar | November 1, 2010 8:30 PM | Report abuse

Next column: comparing apples to monkey wrenches.

Posted by: beetsnotbeats | November 1, 2010 9:19 PM | Report abuse

Don't forget that 4 million streamed the rally online.

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Posted by: fsafs44 | November 1, 2010 11:15 PM | Report abuse

"When ISLAM ascends to the majority pop. in the U.S. (and Obungler just authorized allowing 80,000 more of these sick maniacs to immigrate and live next to YOU) it will be Yusuf's DUTY as a 'good Muslim' to enforce the fatwas to convert or KILL the Infidel (most people in the Rally crowd). That includes ALL HOMOS, even if they convert to Islam, and, *ESPECIALLY* if they convert. It includes those millions of Americans who use illegal DRUGS, like WEED, but, also, ALCOHOL. Whiskey is a CUT-YOUR-THROAT offense in Islam."

Posted by: aTeaGALA | November 1, 2010 7:53 PM

*****

Seriously? It's been two days and this sort of mindless, misinformed racism is still there for everyone to see on the Washington Post's website?

Posted by: rickwiese38 | November 4, 2010 4:25 PM | Report abuse

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