'The Walking Dead' Season 3 Premiere Hits Series High With 10.9 Million Total Viewers & 7.3 Million Adults 18-49

Categories: 1-Featured,Network TV Press Releases

Written By

October 15th, 2012

Depending on the rounding, 7.3 million adults 18-49 work out to be either a 5.7 or 5.8 adults 18-49 rating.

via press release:

The Biggest Show of the Fall Season Among Adults 18-49 is on

"The Walking Dead" Outdelivers Cable and Broadcast Hits Including
"Hatfields & McCoys," "Jersey Shore," "Modern Family," "The Big Bang
Theory" and "The Voice"

Season Premiere Delivers 10.9M Viewers/7.4 HH (9PM) and 15.2M
Viewers/10.7 HH (for Night), up More Than 50% Versus Season Two

Season 3 Premiere Now Reigns as Biggest Telecast for Drama in Basic
Cable History Among All Viewers

For the Night, Season Three Delivers 10.3 Million Viewers Adults 18-49,
8.6 Million Viewers Adults 25-54

"Talking Dead" Attracts 2.1M Viewers for Season Two Premiere, up 85%

New York – October 15, 2012 – The biggest show of the fall season among Adults 18-49 is on AMC. Last night, AMC premiered season three of “The Walking Dead” and outdelivered cable and broadcast hits including “Hatfields & McCoys,” “Jersey Shore,” “Modern Family,” “The Big Bang Theory” and “The Voice.” The 9pm ET premiere garnered 10.9 million viewers and a 7.4 HH rating making it the highest rated episode in series history, and growing more than 50% over last season’s premiere. The season 3 premiere now reigns as the biggest telecast for any drama series in basic cable history among all viewers. “The Walking Dead” encored at 10pm with 3.5 million viewers and midnight with 850,000 viewers delivering 15.2 million viewers for the night. In addition, the season two premiere of “Talking Dead” at 11pm attracted 2.1 million viewers, growing 85% over the season one premiere.

Source: Nielsen Media Research, L+SD. Program premieres and encores, excluding sports. Broadcast season to date (9/24/12 – 10/11/12).

“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,” said Charlie Collier, president of AMC.

Key Nielsen Highlights for the season three premiere “The Walking Dead”:


  • 9pm premiere: 7.4 HH rating, +54% vs. season 2 premiere
  • 9pm premiere: 10.9 million viewers, +50% vs. season 2 premiere
  • 9pm premiere: 7.3 million Adults 18-49, +52% vs season 2 premiere
  • 9pm premiere: 6.1 million Adults 25-54, +46% vs season 2 premiere
  • 9pm,10pm and midnight encores: Grossed to 15.2 million viewers


Key Nielsen Highlights for season two premiere of “Talking Dead”: 

  • o 11pm premiere: 1.7 HH rating with 2.1 million viewers, +69%/+85% vs. season 1


  • o 11pm premiere: 1.5 million Adults 18-49, +92% vs. season 1 premiere
  • o 11pm premiere: 1.3 million Adults 25-54, +71% vs. season 1 premiere


AMC’s “The Walking Dead” is available on every major television provider except DISH. DISH dropped AMC and its sister networks IFC, WE tv and Sundance Channel, to gain leverage in an unrelated lawsuit.

For the past two years, “The Walking Dead” has received the Emmy Award for Outstanding Prosthetic Makeup (2012/2011). In 2010, “The Walking Dead” secured a Golden Globe nomination for Best Television Series - Drama. “The Walking Dead” tells the story of the months and years that follow the zombie apocalypse. It tracks a group of survivors, led by police officer Rick Grimes, who travel in search of a safety and security.

Season three of “The Walking Dead” is already receiving rave reviews with the New York Post stating that the series is “flat-out scariest, best, most unusual show to ever hit the small screen is back, and I’m loving every sickening minute of it.” Newsday states that season three, “doesn’t disappoint.” The Houston Chronicle declared that, “in less than two years, ‘The Walking Dead’ has jumped into a crowded pop-culture pool of serial killers, vampires and dragons to become a darling of the horror fantasy set.”

About AMC

AMC reigns as the only cable network in history to ever win the Emmy® Award for Outstanding Drama Series four years in a row. Whether commemorating favorite films from every genre and decade or creating acclaimed original programming, the AMC experience is an uncompromising celebration of great stories. AMC's original stories include “Mad Men,” “Breaking Bad,” “The Walking Dead” and “Hell on Wheels.” AMC further demonstrates its commitment to the art of storytelling with its slate of unscripted original series, as well as curated movie franchises like AMC’s Can’t Get Enough and AMC’s Crazy About. AMC is owned and operated by AMC Networks Inc. and its sister networks include IFC, Sundance Channel and WE tv. AMC is available across all platforms, including on-air, online, on demand and mobile. AMC: Story Matters HereSM.

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  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Robert Seidman

    we’ll see what the rounding impact is tomorrow, but my guess is a 5.8 A18-49 rtg (7.3/1.265= 5.77).

  • Mike

    watched it online last night cause I have Dish!!

  • One

    Actually, it’d round up to a 5.8 if you factor in the next digit (5.76 to hundredths).

  • dantas

    People, is it a 5.6 or a 7.3? I know it’s 7.3 on the title but you guys are confusing me…

  • Yep

    Fekkin’ amazing. Youth market wins again.

  • Sam

    They renew Anger Management for a frickken 100 episodes when it falls more and more every episode but this? Judging by the ratings(and we’re talking cable tv) this should be renewed for eternity.

  • Martin

    HOLY F##K!!

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Robert Seidman

    @iMember: stop being a clown. I said it wouldn’t be easy (and I definitely got that wrong!) but I didn’t say it *wouldn’t* break the record!

  • MoHasanie

    WOW! A 5.7 is HUGE! Highest rated show this week. TWD could probably rate as the highest rated show on TV this season behind Sunday Night Football, if it can sustain 4.0+ ratings.

  • John A

    Cant believe people bragging about a 2.7 from Revenge. A 5.7 is hell lot better.

  • Dirty Mistress’ Young Nephew

    7.3 is the number of viewers aged 18-49. 5.8 is the actual A18-49 RATING – For instance, last season’s finale scored something in the high 4’s? S3 premiere is 5.8

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Robert Seidman

    @Dirty Mistress: the 18-49 *rating* is around a 5.8. The number of viewers age 18-49 was 7.3 million.

  • MADonna

    dum dum diddy

  • Holly


  • SarahL

    @John A

    LOL! I cannot believe it either. Weak.

  • Dirty Mistress’ Young Nephew

    @Robert – I am not Dirty Mistress. I’m her young nephew.

  • jake

    Is possible to say this is the most successful show in the whole tv industry in at least 6 years?
    The ratings are extremely high, and it will keep up increasing I’m sure, the season finale will be arround a 6 in demo & 13 million viewers, FREAKING INSANE!!

  • Jenna

    Holy crap

  • somebody

    Insane and even without DISH..saw it coming with the low ratings for Sunday Night Football and the massive increase in crowds at Halloween Horror Nights this year. It was also gigantically promoted on Twitter. The commercials last night told it all how many sponsors (Windows) are behind it. Well deserved.

  • Samunto

    These numbers are scary in this current ratings situation. And that on cable… I stopped watchin early season 2 but i’ll resume.

    Dish Network must be crying today.

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