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TV Ratings: 'The Walking Dead' Sees Strong Midseason Finale

UPDATED: AMC's juggernaut drama closes out the first half of its fourth season with 12.1 million viewers -- shy of recent highs but easily its biggest midseason ender to date.

The Walking Dead Midseason Finale Rick Carl - H 2013
Gene Page/AMC
"The Walking Dead"

TV's biggest hit closed out the first half of its fourth season on Sunday night in a predictably massive fashion -- and while The Walking Dead's ratings did not match the recent premiere, it marked a midseason finale high.

AMC's drama pulled 12.1 million viewers in its premiere telecast. That's up from last December's comparable episode (10.5 million), though shy of the recent 16.1 million who tuned in to the October premiere. In the targeted adults 18-49, The Walking Dead scored a massive 7.7 million viewers. (That translates to a 6.2 rating in the demo, easily making it the biggest non-football effort of the last week.)

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The first eight episodes of The Walking Dead's current season have been significantly stronger than previous outings, averaging 13.0 million viewers and 8.4 million adults 18-49 in the 9 p.m. time slot. In total viewers, that marks a 29 percent improvement from the beginning of season three in 2012. It easily stands as the highest-rated series in cable and is currently the top show across all of television in adults 18-49.

One AMC show did hit an all-time high on Sunday, however. Companion series Talking Dead brought in a series-record 6 million viewers, 3.8 million of them adults 18-49. The Walking Dead returns to AMC on Feb. 9

The Walking Dead ratings timeline:
 

  • Season 4 premiere, Oct. 13, 2013: 16.1 million total viewers*, 10.4 million adults 18-49, 8.8 million 25-54
    Season 3 finale, March 31, 2013: 12.4 million total viewers*, 8.1 million 18-49*, 7 million 25-54*
  • Season 3 midseason premiere, Feb. 10, 2013: 12.3 million total viewers*, 6.8 million 18-49, 6.7 million 25-54*
  • Season 3 midseason finale, Dec. 2, 2012: 10.5 million total viewers, 6.9 million 18-49, 6 million 25-54
  • Season 3 premiere, Oct. 14, 2012: 10.9 million total viewers, 7.3 million 18-49, 6.1 million 25-54*
  • Season 2 finale, March 18, 2012: 9 million total viewers, 6 million 18-49, 5.3 million 25-54*
  • Season 2 midseason premiere, Feb. 12, 2012: 8.1 million total, 5.4 million* 18-49, 4.4 million* 25-54
  • Season 2 premiere, Oct. 16, 2011: 7.3 million total, 4.8 million* 18-49, 4.2 million* 25-54
  • Season 2 midseason finale, Nov. 27, 2011: 6.6 million total, 4.5 million 18-49, 3.9 million 25-54
  • Season 1 finale, Dec. 5 2010: 6 million total, 4 million 18-49, 3.5 million 25-54
  • Season 1 premiere, Oct. 31, 2010: 5.4 million total viewers, 2.7 million 18-49

* Record at the time