November 28, 2011 11:46am PT by Lesley Goldberg
TV Ratings: 'The Walking Dead' Midseason Finale Tops Season 1 Closer
Sunday's shocking midseason finale of The Walking Dead delivered for AMC.
The episode, which aired following a six-hour marathon of Season 2 episodes, drew 6.6 million total viewers and 4.5 million in the advertiser-coveted adults 18-49 demographic, pulling in 3.9 million in the adults 25-54 demo, according to Nielsen.
The numbers for the episode, in which the survivors' search for Sophia ended with heartbreaking results, marked an improvement week-over-week and topped the zombie drama's Season 1 finale stats, coming close to its record-breaking Season 2 premiere viewership.
To date, the series based on the comic books by Robert Kirkman stands as the most-watch drama series on basic cable in the adults 18-49 demo.
October's 90-minute Season 2 premiere drew 7.3 million total viewers, becoming the strongest telecast for any drama in basic-cable history in two key demos, collecting 4.8 million in the advertiser-coveted adults 18-49 demographic and 4.2 million adults 25-54, shattering a nearly 10-year-old record for the demos.
December's Season 1 finale drew 6 million viewers, including 4 million in 18-49 and setting a then-record for the most-watched basic cable series of all time in the demo.
Season 1 averaged 3.5 million viewers in 18-49 and 5.2 million total viewers.