TVLine Items: The Walking Dead Smashes Ratings Records, GH Murder Mystery Scoop and More!

The Walking Dead Season 2 premiere drew huge mobs of living, breathing Nielsen viewers on Sunday night, shattering a few records along the way.

The AMC series was welcomed back by 7.3 million total viewers in its 9 pm airing — a 38 percent surge over the show’s Season 1 average — with 4.8 million of ‘em falling into the coveted 18-49 crowd. That breaks a demo rating record for basic cable set nearly 10 years ago, AMC reports.

Walking Dead‘s delivery of 4.2 million viewers in the 25-54 demo likewise represents a new high for a basic cable series.

The Walking Dead is one of those rare television programs that reaches both a core genre fan as well as broad audiences simply looking for a great, character-based story,” AMC president Charlie Collier said in announcing the boffo ratings. “That The Walking Dead is now the most watched drama in the history of basic cable is staggering, just like our zombies.”

Factoring in the 10:30 pm and 12:30 am encores, Walking Dead amassed 11 million total viewers with its sophomore bow.

Sarah Wayne Callies: The Walking Dead Season 2 ‘Somehow Makes Last Year Look Tame!’

Ready for more of today’s TV dish? Well…

Spoiler Alert! ABC’s General Hospital is gearing up for a lengthy murder mystery. The victim: recently revived wackadoo doc Lisa Niles (Brianna Brown). Executive producer Jill Farren Phelps tells TV Guide Magazine that everyone “ends up having the motive, the means and the opportunity to kill” — including Patrick and Robin, of course. Unfortunately viewers won’t find out who offed the big bad until — gasp! — February.

Donal Logue has joined the cast of TNT’s upcoming 1880s adventure series pilot Gateway, per Deadline. The Terriers alum will play Auggie, the drinking buddy of Cam Gigandet’s leading man, Jake.

• Dirty Sexy Money star Bellamy Young will guest-star on CBS’ Criminal Minds as a museum curator who meets Hotch in the park while he’s training for triathalon, EW.com reports.

Criminal Minds Duo Shoot Down Hotch/Prentiss Romance Buzz: ‘It’s a Hard Line to Ride’

Marlon Wayans (Scary Movie) is set to write, executive produce and star in a sibling-buddy cop comedy project for ABC, per Deadline.

Shonda Rhimes has sold a 1980s New Jersey-based dramedy project, titled Wildwood, to Fox, Deadline reports. The Ex List‘s Diane Ruggiero is on board to write the pilot.

Which TVLine Items have you talking today?

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39 Comments
  1. Dessy says:

    All I can say is: Holy Crap!
    Those AMC bosses must be twisting their hands together, cackling madly with glee!

    Congratulations

    • TigerNightmare says:

      Hopefully they won’t continue to slash the budget or fire anymore critical talent for the show. Worry about your favorite AMC shows. Worry as hard as you can.

  2. Kristen says:

    Wow! Love the Walking Dead! Apparently everyone else does too!!! :)

    • KevyB says:

      Agree! But why can’t all these people watch Breaking Bad also? It’s ridiculous that show isn’t breaking records.

  3. Joe says:

    that big of a break probably help the show. Nearly a year of word of mouth and giving people on the fence about it time to check out season 1

  4. Laurel says:

    Perhaps now Matthew Weiner creator of Mad Men won’t walk with such a big stick over at AMC demanding and getting all money.
    Forcing other GREAT shows like Breaking Bad and Walking Dead to cut episodes (Breaking Bad) and fire people (Creator Frank Darabont,Walking Dead)
    Breaking Bad is a better show than Mad Men anyday and The Walking Dead has huge ratings.

    • Mike says:

      Well, he did still win 4 straight Best Drama emmys for Mad Men. lol I agree with you though. I think AMC needs to do a better job managing their shows. But they’re relatively a young channel when it comes to airing Original Television Series. And to have many of them be critically acclaimed right off the bat, I’m sure is difficult. But strong ratings for TWD definitely has to help matters!

    • Damon says:

      Dude… Mad Men MADE AMC what it is today

      • Laurel says:

        Bryan Cranston of Breaking Bad has won the Best Actor Emmy 3 years in a row and Aaron Paul of BB won Best Supporting Actor .
        BB has better ratings than Mad Men so does The Walking Dead.

        I like Mad Men and have watched every episode.
        However I don’t like it at the expense of other GREAT shows on AMC.
        And I feel that it sucks when one persons greed snuffs out the creativity of others.IMHO
        As far as Mad Men making AMC …
        Mad Men & Breaking Bad started airing on AMC around the same time.
        Mad Men Fall of 07 ,Breaking Bad January 08

    • Amber says:

      I don’t think Frank Darabont’s firing had anything to do with Matt Weiner or Mad Men, I believe TVLine reported it was because they said he was too used to doing movies, he couldn’t get into the right frame of mind to be a showrunner for television. Which I guess means he was probably finding it difficult to bring the show in on time and under budget.

  5. Alex says:

    Good for AMC, they’re one of the few networks dedicated to nothing but quality programming, and it’s great to see the have such a ratings smash hit.

  6. Ed says:

    Sooo happy that The Walking Dead did awesome in the ratings. Great opening to the new Season! Can’t wait until next week.

  7. Ed says:

    Also wanted to add… Another pilot, Shonda? Really??? Focus on the show that started your career. Granted, Grey’s has been pretty good the past few episodes but it’s in its 8th season. A critical season where most shows start their downward spiral. IMO of course.

  8. GH says:

    This GH murder mystery story will turn out to be a big NOTHING. The character will turn up alive just as a convicted Robin is to be executed. As with all these shows for the last 2 decades, the writing has been atrocious, repetitive, and lazy.
    Trust me at least one character will come back from the dead and the “victim’ will be found alive somewhere. Her heretofore unknown twin sister/look a like cousin will be the one who is offed.

  9. Sara Beth says:

    Agreed, why is Shonda doing another pilot? Her only truly good show is Grey’s and that’s been rocky for a while. Plus, a New Jersey based dramedy? Ugh, sick of the New Jersey stuff.

    • Jersey Jeff says:

      Not everything in New Jersey consists of the foul mouth degenerates on Jersey Shore. But that’s ok, Sara Beth, we’re sick of you, too.

  10. A says:

    Seriously! Did you see that musical episode?!? Between that and the Denny ghost sex Grey’s hit the downward spiral a while ago.

  11. Alicia says:

    NoooOOOooo!! I knew this day was coming and that Criminal Minds scoop is breaking my heart :'( but I’m still a believer…
    Hotch and Prentiss are meant for each other!

  12. Dee says:

    You can really tell that GH is an ABC production. Are the writers getting so lazy that they have to copy the same plot as All My Children with who shot Adams/Stuart? Sounds like the same time frame as well – about four months.

    After what it did for All my Children, if I were on GH I would really start worrying now. It was, after all, AMC’s death knell.

  13. Phil Hersh says:

    Do you get nothing but shills posting. I love The Walking Dead but the Season 2 Premiere Sucked with a capital S!

    • shaun says:

      How is crazy zombie killings and surprise twists sucky?

    • damian says:

      Totally agree with you, sucky is the right word for it. Probably the worst episode so far, I hope it won’t continue down this path.

    • Agree says:

      The premiere started off in the right direction but totally blew . Ratings may of been high but not many were that happy with it, writing is cheap and lacking. Count my rating in with that judgement please, it is a good show but not THAT GOOD. Let’s calm down .

  14. Kvivik says:

    Okay, hold it. Why are these websites suddenly posting tidbits on Soap operas when they never have before?
    Suddenly soap operas are news??? Too little, too late.

  15. Alana says:

    Why can’t Breaking bad (a better show) do that well in the ratings? *sign* :(

  16. Captain says:

    They brought back crazy Lisa just to kill her? LAME! Some of us actually like her, she’s entertaining as hell. I was really excited to have her back and now I’m disappointed. Oh well, I guess death never is permenant in a soap.

  17. amb says:

    GH unfortunately can not to a complicated murder mystery. They just do not know how to balance a show anymore. I had such hope for the new writer, but he seems to be following in Guza’s steps, just not mob centered. OLTL is doing a murder mystery that does work.Hopefully they were paying attention.

    And to kill Lisa is just dumb. She is the first multi layered character they have created in years. Only time she is boring is with Patrick.

    • bklyngirl says:

      Amb, I agree. She could have been expanded as a character. She had so much chemistry with Johnny, and they could have been a power couple. What a waste, and that assinine BS with dull as dirt Robin and that fool Patrick.

  18. Amber says:

    I watched The Walking Dead premiere…the beginning was incredibly awesome, I loved it, but by the time they were all having their private religious moments in the church I was so bored I had to turn it off and go to bed. That whole section of the show felt faker than the zombie’s makeup (which I’m not knocking, I think their makeup dept. does a spectacular job)…just saying, the whole religious thing did not feel real or heartfelt to me at all. I’ll probably finish the episode sometime later this week though, I’m definitely not giving up on the show.

    One other thing I gotta say is, why do people keep giving Shonda Rhymes shows??? More importantly, why do people keep watching Shonda Rhymes shows??? She is awful. Grey’s Anatomy lost all its life when the real life drama between Isaiah Washington and the rest of the cast all started. Private Practice never had a life.

  19. Cheeks says:

    Wasn’t Blair Underwood in Dirty Sexy Money? I don’t remember Bill B. in it.

  20. Roy Mabe says:

    Why does it seem like the soaps are getting worse with age? Because they are.No wonder so many of them are getting cancelled.

  21. Roy Mabe,Jr. says:

    No wonder all the soaps are being cancelled-they have no plots anymore.Not any good ones anyway.

    • bklyngirl says:

      That’s true, Roy. Soaps have been on the decline for some years now with uncreative and repititive writing and destroying characters and couples on every show. And the rise of angry wars coming from people who watch the shows and diss them on a daily basis. The ones that are left will face the cancellation mark too.

  22. BeachBum says:

    Mad Men: 4 straight drama Emmys and its setting sparked 2 new (albeit tragic) new shows.
    Breaking Bad: Emmys for Cranston and Paul and considered by many critics to be among the best tv dramas ever. Season 4 its the highest ratings yet.
    The Walking Dead: Before it aired who saw this as anything more than a silly little genre niche show? Now it has the big boys running scared.

    AMC: the little network that could…and did.

  23. Hello to all Walking Dead fans!

    I personally love the show and I am very happy to read here that they smashed the ratings records, that’s excellent news!

    I am such a big fan of the show that I have created a facebook fan page as well as a blog for it.

    You can check out the facebook fan page by going to Facebook.com/ILoveTheWalkingDead

    The fan blog is available at http://www.ILoveTheWalkingDead.blogspot.com

    Please check them out and leave your comments about what you think of the show, thanks!

  24. jdahunt says:

    Big fan of the show…..Like most I liked the first half of the premier…..hated the second half.

    Just finished watching the second episode and hated most of it. Its like they don’t have a good story to tell so they waste a whole episode on the kid…..ready to turn it off halfway through…in fact I skip by it with my dvr.

    It this contiues I will be looking for something else soon.

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