Staggering! The Walking Dead Returns to Its Largest Audience Ever

Get More: News, Premieres, Ratings

Ratings Walking Dead RecordAMC’s The Walking Dead is alive and kicking, resuming Season 3 on Sunday night with an all-time high audience of 12.3 million total viewers.

The series’ previous record was the audience of 10.9 million who tuned in for the Season 3 premiere back in October.

Folding in encores, the midseason opener amassed 16.6 million viewers for the night.

RELATED | Walking Dead Season 3B Premiere Recap: Beyond Thunderdome

Sunday’s Walking Dead episode also stands as the highest-rated telecast ever for a basic cable series, drawing 7.7 million adults age 18-49 (up 6 percent over the drama’s previous best and surging 44 percent from Season 2′s midseason premiere).

Averaging 6.8 million weekly viewers in that coveted demo, TWD this season is outperforming broadcast big boys such as Modern Family, The Big Bang Theory, Two and a Half Men and NCIS.

Talking Dead’s own midseason opener led out of TWD’s 9 o’clock broadcast with 4.1 million total viewers.



Comments (46)

  • Cripes, TWD beat TBBT? there is still hope for television, eh?

    Comment by Ari – February 11, 2013 12:32 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Looks like it!

      Comment by A – February 11, 2013 12:34 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I like the Walking Dead, I really am a fan…but seriously 7.7 in the demo, why? I mean it is a good show, but is it really THAT good compared to other good shows now on air?

      Comment by Eli – February 12, 2013 01:08 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • and yet 28 38.12 WALKING DEAD #105 (MR) $2.99 IMA 57,781

    http://www.icv2.com/articles/news/24778.html

    Comment by Michael Sacal – February 11, 2013 12:33 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Probably due to the garbage the current story arc is. Nothing but a revved up, gotta be gorier and violenter than the guv storyline.

      Used to be a good comic with direction and not regurgitated plots because it got popular and went longer than expected and needs to be stretched out to make money. Used to be an awesome comic even. Used. To. Be.

      Comment by Len – February 11, 2013 02:14 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • does it make money selling that number of copies?

        Comment by Michael Sacal – February 11, 2013 03:04 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • Don’t know. However, there is little doubt the real money for the Walking Dead comic is in the collections of 6 issues each. They sell great, and the 50k copies per month probably at least covers expenses.

          Comment by Len – February 11, 2013 07:40 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Wow!! That’s pretty amazing.

    Comment by Amy – February 11, 2013 12:33 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Not surprised it drew the biggest audience. It had lots of hype and was a great episode.

    Comment by A – February 11, 2013 12:35 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Holy crap, that is a lot. Too bad last night wasn’t its strongest outing, but it was a setting up for greater things to come.

    Comment by Mike – February 11, 2013 12:36 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Say coveted a few more times please

    Comment by Teag – February 11, 2013 12:57 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Well this (plus Downton and The Grammys) solved the mystery of ‘who killed Revenge?’

    Comment by Janet – February 11, 2013 12:57 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • ABC is soooo dumb for bringing Once and Revenge back on this particular Sunday. They’re killing my favorite shows even though I still think they’ll both be renewed. But still!

      Comment by iMember – February 11, 2013 01:03 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • I love ABC shows. But they are so stupid.

        Comment by Frenzz – February 11, 2013 01:15 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Walking Dead is on 3 times, I checked! You don’t have to miss anything!

        Comment by Jay – February 12, 2013 02:00 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Love walking dead definitely #1 tv show ever. ABC good shows I record revenge and once upon a time. Even though Ted airs episode many. Times over have to see it right away

        Comment by Lisa – February 15, 2013 10:36 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Now if we could just get rid of Woodbury and the governor, the show would be perfect…

    Comment by Dahl – February 11, 2013 01:00 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • true dat.

      Comment by Kresh – February 11, 2013 01:09 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • And hopefully the dreadful Andrea!!!

      Comment by wrstlgirl – February 11, 2013 01:15 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • I second that!

        Comment by Elyse – February 11, 2013 01:59 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • I third this! Hate Andrea.

        Comment by Babybop – February 11, 2013 06:15 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • I fourth that!

          Comment by TheWalkingRob – February 11, 2013 06:53 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
          • I loved Andrea, but she is just stupid now.

            Comment by Aljosa – February 12, 2013 09:54 AM PDT  
    • The Givernor is one of the best villains on TV, Woodbury needs better extras, but this has been the best season yet thanks to the governor.

      Comment by Mike – February 11, 2013 01:21 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • No he is just a psychopath with a patched up eye, nothing more.

        Comment by Kresh – February 11, 2013 01:27 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • Yeah, that is exactly what makes him a great villain.

          Comment by Mike – February 11, 2013 02:56 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
          • Disagree. Without us knowing his motivations, he can’t really be a truly good villain. JMO.

            Comment by Jj – February 11, 2013 09:19 PM PDT  
    • I didn’t like him at first, but the Governor is becoming one of the most interesting characters to me. I love a good psychotic villain who acts without rhyme or reason. And the eye patch and trench coat makes him look all piratey. I don’t think that’s an accident his character was designed to look that way. But I will be happy if we never have to see his bare ass again like they made us see last year. [Shudder].

      Comment by Britta Unfiltered – February 11, 2013 01:59 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • LOL, sadly you can’t “unsee” that!!! Those scenes of him bedding Andrea were cringe-worthy :-(

        Comment by wrstlgirl – February 11, 2013 02:09 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Not the strongest episode though. Hope they can retain viewership. Why can’t cable shows have more than 15 episodes? I don’t get it. They are generally better than network shows in every sense of the word. The writing, the acting, the premise…they are creative, compelling and daring in a way that network shows do not dare to be… Anywho, awesome news. Too bad that ABC got crushed by their own ignorance and sent Revenge down a rabbit hole of abysmal ratings. Who puts out a new episode against the Grammys, TWD and Downtown Abbey? Fire whoever is in charge of programming already. Things just keep getting worse over there…

    Comment by Ana – February 11, 2013 01:26 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Anymore than 16 episodes and the writing gets sloppy and stupid. The less episodes, the more focused the story is.

      Comment by Teag – February 11, 2013 01:35 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • I guess that’s possible. Although hard to believe….

        Comment by Ana – February 11, 2013 01:46 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • That’s not really true. I get your implication though.

        But three seasons of a show with 13 episodes each is 39 episodes. If the 13s are all good tight writing, then the 39 is good tight writing. Doesn’t matter how that is broken up for “seasons” it could be one season, or it could be 8. The writers just need to do their job well. You can have 39 episodes in a season that would all rock.

        Comment by Len – February 11, 2013 02:21 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • Yeah… that isn’t gonna be happening. But a nice thought!

          Comment by Matt Webb Mitovich, Editor-at-Large TVLine.com – February 11, 2013 02:52 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
          • Of course not. It’s hard to explain in a short space. I feel the point was missed. Not necessarily by you, but in general. I’m unsure how to try to explain it better.

            Comment by Len – February 11, 2013 07:45 PM PDT  
      • I agree. I think the reason cable shows are better are because they only have 15 or so episodes. This allows the writers to take a break and really delve into what’s going to keep the show ‘tight’ as opposed to constantly cranking out episode where many of them turn out to be nothing more than filler.

        Comment by Kristoffer – February 11, 2013 08:04 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Most seasons in the UK are 6 or 13 episodes per season. They seem to be doing nicely.

    Comment by PsiHawk – February 11, 2013 02:00 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • It’s a fascinating thing to see a basic cable show so effectively beat out the networks. It’s also quite satisfying to me. Because I’m starting to despise network shows just that much.

    Comment by Britta Unfiltered – February 11, 2013 02:01 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Agreed. This season on the networks has especially been disappointing, at best. Except for The Following (and maybe Arrow) every other new show they put out this year feels cheap and unimaginative while cable is on the rise more than ever. HBO, AMC, Showtime and now even Cinemaxx with Banshee produce stellar shows the networks simply can’t compete with for some reason.

      Comment by jimbo – February 11, 2013 02:19 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Lol, you’re totally in my head! Following, Arrow, and Banshee are three new shows I am in love with. I think they’re stellar.

        Comment by rachelle – February 11, 2013 08:14 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • And I would add FX to that list. They have some pretty amazing original programs too (SOA, Justified, AHS)

        Comment by The Beach – February 11, 2013 11:21 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I wish I could watch this. I absolutely adored Andrew Lincoln in Love Actually, but can’t do horror. Can’t.

    Comment by Renee – February 11, 2013 02:42 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I absolutely hate horror, but after all the hype and my husband recently becoming obsessed and explaining it all to me, I checked it out. I wasn’t scared or bothered at all, and I normally cannot even watch 5 mins of a horror movie. Maybe watch it with others and have them explain everything really well so it turns it into a character driven outing instead of horror. That helped me! :)

      Comment by Danielle H. – February 11, 2013 04:39 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I am like you–I am a horror wimp, particularly gore. However, I watched the premiere episode and loved it, and have watched the whole series. Point of interest, I can also watch Bones during dinner and never flinch. Well, not much.

      I didn’t realize that Andrew Lincoln was in Love, Actually. Now I must watch it.

      Comment by MelindaB – February 11, 2013 06:19 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Sounds like Talking Dead did well too, which is great because that was a genius stroke by AMC. The new hour-long format really lets the show breathe more and not feel so rushed. I hope TNT is paying attention and will bring their Falling Skies aftershow from the web to the network.

    Comment by DarkHawke – February 11, 2013 03:04 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I love watching the Talking Dead after, but have cringed at other shows that have gotten on that bandwagon. The follow up show after Teen Wolf is HORRIBLE. You definitely need to make sure that the host of the show is passionate about it!!!!

      Comment by Brigitte – February 11, 2013 05:29 PM PDT  Reply To This Post

Leave a Reply

Comments on TVLine.com are monitored. So don't go off topic, don't frakkin' curse, and be gone with your offers of discount leather goods. Talk smart about TV!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s