Staggering! The Walking Dead Returns to Its Largest Audience Ever

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.

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  1. Ari says:

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

  2. and yet 28 38.12 WALKING DEAD #105 (MR) $2.99 IMA 57,781

    • Len says:

      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.

  3. Amy says:

    Wow!! That’s pretty amazing.

  4. A says:

    Not surprised it drew the biggest audience. It had lots of hype and was a great episode.

  5. Mike says:

    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.

  6. Teag says:

    Say coveted a few more times please

  7. Janet says:

    Well this (plus Downton and The Grammys) solved the mystery of ‘who killed Revenge?’

  8. Dahl says:

    Now if we could just get rid of Woodbury and the governor, the show would be perfect…

  9. Ana says:

    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…

    • Teag says:

      Anymore than 16 episodes and the writing gets sloppy and stupid. The less episodes, the more focused the story is.

      • Ana says:

        I guess that’s possible. Although hard to believe….

      • Len says:

        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.

        • Matt Webb Mitovich, Editor-at-Large says:

          Yeah… that isn’t gonna be happening. But a nice thought!

          • Len says:

            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.

      • Kristoffer says:

        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.

  10. PsiHawk says:

    Most seasons in the UK are 6 or 13 episodes per season. They seem to be doing nicely.

  11. Britta Unfiltered says:

    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.

    • jimbo says:

      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.

  12. Renee says:

    I wish I could watch this. I absolutely adored Andrew Lincoln in Love Actually, but can’t do horror. Can’t.

    • Danielle H. says:

      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! :)

    • MelindaB says:

      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.

  13. DarkHawke says:

    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.

    • Brigitte says:

      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!!!!