- Share this article on Facebook
- Share this article on Twitter
- Share this article on Email
- Show additional share options
- Share this article on Print
- Share this article on Comment
- Share this article on Whatsapp
- Share this article on Linkedin
- Share this article on Reddit
- Share this article on Pinit
- Share this article on Tumblr
After breaking its own record in three key demos with its second season finale, AMC’s The Walking Dead opened its third frame by continuing the trend.
Sunday’s season three premiere collected a whopping 10.9 million total viewers, making it the highest-rated episode in series history, up more than 50 percent from its record-breaking season two premiere. The episode now stands as the biggest telecast for any drama series in basic cable history among total viewers. In the key advertiser-coveted adults 18-49 demo, the 9 p.m. broadcast collected 7.3 million viewers, with 6.1 million among adults 25-54, all series bests.
PHOTOS: The ‘Dead’ and the Red: ‘The Walking Dead Cast in Character and on the Red Carpet
Factoring in broadcasts at 9 p.m., 10 p.m. and midnight, the series based on the comics by Robert Kirkman collected 15.2 million total viewers over the course of the night.
“Thank you to the fans for making The Walking Dead such a tremendous success. We are honored and humbled that television’s largest adult audience resides on AMC. So many people on both sides of the camera worked tirelessly on this project, and I thank and congratulate each of them for their amazing contribution,” AMC president Charlie Collier said Monday.
March’s season two finale drew 9 million total viewers, including 6 million in 18-49, 5.3 million in 25-54 and 3.2 million in 18-34. The demo numbers topped basic-cable records set by February’s midseason premiere.
PHOTOS: ‘The Walking Dead’ Season 3: Revenge, Swords and The Governor
Dish subscribers, meanwhile, were shut out of the episode due to its carriage dispute with AMC. The cable network’s online stream of the episode — created specifically for Dish subscribers — crashed due to overwhelming demand. The premiere is now streaming AMCTV.com (or watch the episode, below).
Some ratings highlights from the series:
• Season 3 premiere, 10/14/12: 10.9 million total viewers, 7.3 million in 18-49, 6.1 million in 25-54
• Season 2 finale, 3/18/12: 9 million total viewers, 6 million in 18-49, 5.3 million in 25-54*
• Season 2 midseason premiere, 2/12/12: 8.1 million total, 5.4 million* in 18-49, 4.4 million* in 25-54
• Season 2 premiere, 10/17/11: 7.3 million total, 4.8 million* in 18-49, 4.2 million* in 25-54
• Season 2 midseason finale, 11/27/11: 6.6 million total, 4.5 million in 18-49, 3.9 million in 25-54
• Season 1 finale, 12/5/10: 6 million total, 4 million in 18-49, 3.5 million in 25-54
• Season 1 premiere, 10/31/10: 5.4 million total viewers, 2.7 million in 18-49
* Record at the time
Meanwhile, Chris Hardwicke‘s Walking Dead postshow The Talking Dead was also up year-over-year, opening to 2.1 million total viewers (up 85 percent vs. its series premiere last year), and notching 1.5 million in the 18-49 demo (up 92 percent).
If you missed the Walking Dead season three opener, watch the episode below.
Sign up for THR news straight to your inbox every day
More from The Hollywood Reporter
The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power
Horse Dies on Amazon’s ‘The Rings of Power’ Set, PETA Calls for Use of CGI Animals
‘Great Expectations’ Review: Olivia Colman in an FX/Hulu Dickens Adaptation That Strains for Edginess
the tonight show
‘Succession’ Star Kieran Culkin Explains Why Roman Roy Doesn’t Seem to Understand Chairs