The AMC fell to its lowest-rated audience with 4 million tuning in for Sunday's Season 10 premiere, down 34% from last year's Season 9 premiere, which was already the second-lowest opener. But as Deadline's Dominic Patten notes, the 4 million "doesn’t actually tell the whole story – at least not in this era of television." He adds: "Yes, those numbers look bad, even in an era of small-screen Live+Same Day declines across both broadcast and cable. Yet, the real deal is that a lot of the eyeballs that couldn’t get enough of the series now showrun by Angela Kang and based on Robert Kirkman’s now-defunct comic had gobbled up their helping of end-of-the-world eye candy days beforehand. While debuting on the cabler Sunday, the Kang-penned and Greg Nicotero-directed Season 10 opener had actually been available on the AMC Premiere subscription service since September 29. Last year, signing up for the $5-a month AMC Premiere got you the TWD Season 9 opener a day early for what ended up being the second least-watched and lowest-rated season debut in the Frank Darabont-developed show’s history. This year, it was literally a whole week earlier if you put down your credit card and signed up for the commercial-free version of AMC Premiere. None of those numbers are included in the linear viewership." How much the AMC Premiere availability hurt regular viewership is unknown, though AMC says it had strong subscriptio signups this year like it said it did last year. ALSO: Showrunner Angela Kang explains why the Season 10 premiere went to outer space.