“The Walking Dead” has been a ratings monster since its 2010 debut, but the Season 3 premiere went through the roof.
An astonishing 10.9 million viewers tuned in to the show’s return — a 50% increase from the Season 2 premiere — making it the most watched drama series telecast in basic cable history. Previous record holder, TNT’s “The Closer,” fell shy of 10 million viewers at its peak.
Adding in two same-night encore airings, a total 15.2 million viewers watched “Walking Dead” last night, including 10.3 million adults 18-49 and 8.6 million adults 25-54.
AMC was quick to note that the show’s performance in the key 18-49 demo outdrew TV heavyweights including “Modern Family,” “The Big Bang Theory,” “The Voice,” “Jersey Shore” and History’s miniseries sensation “Hatfields & McCoys.”
“The Walking Dead” helped boost the “post-game” show “Talking Dead” to a record 2.1 million viewers, extremely solid numbers by any standard in the world of cable. “Talking Dead” grew by an impressive 85% in total viewers and 92% in adults 18-49 compared to its first season premiere.
“Thank you to the fans for making ‘The Walking Dead’ such a tremendous success,” AMC president Charlie Collier says in a statement. “We are honored and humbled that television’s largest adult audience resides on AMC. So many people on both sides of the camera worked tirelessly on this project, and I thank and congratulate each of them for their amazing contribution.”