FOX UK has announced that they will debut the fifth season of The Walking Dead less than 24 hours behind the US premiere, which AMC just confirmed would take place on Sunday October 12th at 9/8c.
Based on the graphic novel series by Robert Kirkman, The Walking Dead follows a group of people, led by deputy Sheriff Rick Grimes, who are attempting to survive after an outbreak has led to the rise of the undead (known colloquially as walkers). The drama series stars Andrew Lincoln, Sarah Wayne Callies, Laurie Holden, Steven Yeun, Chandler Riggs, Norman Reedus, Lauren Cohan. David Morrissey and Danai Gurira.
This marks the second season in a row that FOX UK has aired new episode of the AMC zombie drama within 24 hours of the US broadcast. Prior to last year, new episodes used to hit the UK on Friday nights, some five days after they aired in the United States. The move had a positive effect on ratings for FOX UK, with episodes ranking as the number one programme on Pay TV in the 10pm time-slot.
The decision to air the series closer to the US broadcast is in fact a strategy pioneered by FOX UK parent company Fox International Channels, who will be airing the new season within 24 hours of the AMC broadcast in more than 120 territories. Last season, that strategy resulted in adding some 9.5 million new viewers to their channels in Europe and they are, no doubt, hoping for similar results this year.