Ratings: Walking Dead Shatters Records

Apocalypse wow: The Walking Dead kicked off its third season Sunday with record-shattering ratings.

More than 10.9 million viewers watched [SPOILER ALERT] Rick cut off Hershel’s zombie-bitten leg — making the premiere episode the series’ biggest yet, rising 50 percent from the Season 2 opener. (The previously most-watched Dead episode was last season’s finale, which drew nearly 9 million viewers.)

RELATED | Walking Dead Post Mortem: Is [Spoiler]’s Death Inevitable? Romance For Andrea and Michonne?

Among the coveted 18-49 demo, Walking Dead drew 7.2 million viewers, up 52 percent from the Season 2 premiere.

The action-packed hour also ranks as biggest telecast for any drama series in basic cable history in total viewers — a particularly impressive feat given that AMC is not currently available to Dish subscribers. And folding in two encores, the premiere amassed 15.2 million total viewers.

Leading out of TWD‘s first encore, the Season 2 premiere of Talking Dead at 11 pm held onto 2.1 million viewers, up 85 percent from its series launch.

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  1. Chop off Hershel’s leg. lol

  2. WOW! That’s shockingly amazing! Any demo news yet? I’m assuming no…

  3. Tom says:

    I had a feeling the numbers for this would be insane. Haha. Awesome. Looks like a 4th season is a definite.

  4. iMember says:

    THAT’S AWESOME! I’m so glad this show was able to break records, AND that ABC’s Revenge was still able to go up in the ratings despite extra competition. Both fantastic shows!

  5. Mike says:

    Imagine the numbers if Dish customers could have seen it!

  6. Alex says:

    That’s crazy…especially with Dish not carrying AMC anymore. Hope they work that out eventually…

  7. Ed says:

    WOW!! WTG The Walking Dead!!! Though not surprised!

  8. Lambsilencer says:

    This might be making a case that network TV could get away with much more grisly violence than what we’re led to believe. I sometimes think that a show like “Nikita” or “NCIS: LA” could use a much more realistic approach to violence, i.e. showing exploding bullet wounds with red liquid splashing out instead of that ridiculous white powder.
    Or is there another problem with airing such content on the broadcast networks? The FCC has no policy power for violent content, IIRC, only for indecency involving sexual situations. So, if 10 million viewers were not turned away by the gore here, there might much more leeway for the broadcast networks.

    Just mulling thoughts here…

    • RS says:

      Ugh, that didn’t even occur to me. But frankly my crime shows get plenty grisly as it is. If that’s unrealistic, then I’d prefer to keep my crime fighting neat and tidy; cable can keep its explicit gore.

    • Ari says:

      I agree. The example I have been using for the past month is Revolution. Imagine how much better than show could be if it were on cable and a bit freer.

      • GK says:

        Oh God, Revolution has to be the grittiest, more realistic portrayal of bloody carnage I have seen in a long time on network tv. It still doesn’t come close to cable portrayal, but its the best you got on network tv and its a pretty good show to boot.

  9. RS says:


  10. Kevin H. says:

    Amazing numbers! Matt Weiner wishes his show could get these ratings. Still upset about his ego being the reason they had to let Frank Darabont go.

  11. Britta Unfiltered says:

    I also noticed last night it was the most popular show to be viewed on TV streaming websites. I’m guessing those were all the Dish subscribers and those without cable watching it. It still is the most popular show to be viewed today. It’s beating out Dexter and Homeland and Once Upon a Time and Revenge.

  12. nate p says:

    Great news, I really hope this means there will be more seasons to follow. Its bad enough we gotta say good bye to breaking bad I don’t want this show to end for at least a few more years. Keep watching so they get there ratings.dish needs to wake up and see wht there missing. Amc has the best shows on tv, loving cable dramas once again

  13. David S says:

    Just need to point out it’s a dick move to put the spoiler before the jump. Even with that spoiler tag, my eyes were jumping around and saw the Rick cut off part. God damn it.

    • Dan says:

      I don’t even understand the need for the spoiler. “A lot of people watched last night’s The Walking Dead, PERIOD”. That’s the news. This is not a recap.

    • Steven says:

      The episode was on last night… so it’s not a spoiler. What are websites like this supposed to do? Email everyone that comes to the site to make sure they have watched a show before they post anything about it?

  14. Spoiler Junkie says:

    This is so freaking awesome. Glad to read this news. :)

  15. ESLKid75 says:

    Very good move from AMC to put an encore of the first 2 seasons this summer.

    I had totally passed on this series as I’m not a big horror fan, but decided to give it a try because there wasn’t much else to watch this summer. Did that for Breaking Bad as well…

    God damn, not sorry I did! TWD and BB are the best 2 shows on TV right now! Awesome

  16. JC says:

    I’m shipping Carl and Beth. Who’s with me?

    • Patty says:

      How old is Beth? If she’s like 14 or 15 (which I doubt), then I guess I can see it. I’m not even sure how old Carl is supposed to be – 12 or 13? But the actress who plays Beth just looks like she’s in her early 20s and Carl is in his early teens or even a pre-teen. That’s just too weird for me. Let’s give the show another 10 years (and if they survive) then I’ll ship them, LOL

      • JC says:

        You can’t apply present day morality to romance after the zombie apocalypse. There’s an extremely small dating pool, what’s young Carl to do?

      • Ari says:

        Carl is 13 Beth is 17. It’s totally feasible considering the world they live in.

      • GK says:

        I was all about the older girls at that age, but seriously that won’t happen. Too much age difference. When he grows older, they will develop more of a friendship bordering on the sister and brother relationship or move on (in reality). Its just infatuation at this stage.

  17. Tony says:

    It was a highly anticipated premier – quit whining about spoilers and watch it when it comes on – OR stay off of entertainment websites – you had to have known it was going to be a huge story….

    • Dan says:

      As stated in the title, this is supposed to be about the audience numbers, not a recap. I was curious about the numbers without having seen the episode (which I’m about to do tonight). I’m staying away from recaps and the such. EW gave the same news with even more info without revealing anything from the episode.

  18. This show sucks says:

    Wow. Imagine what numbers the show could draw if it were actually good. Amazing they can pull this audience with the atrocious writing and baffling characterizations week-to-week. What a crap show.

  19. Jess says:

    Michael, please PLEASE put the spoiler after the jump! I was scrolling down the page, studiously avoiding any Walking Dead stuff because I hadn’t yet watched it. And my eye fell on “[SPOILER ALERT] Rick cut off Hershel’s zombie-bitten leg” totally by accident.

    So I spent the whole episode just now waiting for Hershel to be bitten, and it wasn’t as shocking as it should have been. I’m really really bummed about it and now I’m afraid to go on the TVLine home page at all in case you spoil shows that I’m ONE DAY LATE on!


    • A says:

      It’s been said already. Stay off the sites that will report stories on the shows you watch, especially after a SEASON PREMIERE, until you’ve seen the show. Your delay in watching the show is no one else’s problem but your own

      • Jess says:

        That would mean I could never come on TVLine as I don’t have the time to watch all the shows I like they day they air. Therefore TVLine would be losing a visitor. And, obviously I’m not the only one… so actually it IS their problem. Such a simple thing to put in the spoiler after the jump and keep visitors to their site. I shouldn’t be able to very easily see a Walking Dead spoiler when I’m just on here to get a Fringe re-cap.

        And just because something has been said already doesn’t mean it should never be said again by anyone else. Ever hear of strength in numbers? TVLine might be more willing to make the simple change if they realize there are several of us that are frustrated and getting ready to stop coming to the site.

  20. Elyse says:

    YAY! good for The Walking Dead!!!

  21. Toots says:

    People still love them Zombies!!!