'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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  • Jeff (Canada)

    Just imagine if this was on broadcast….

    ….actually it would probably not be as popular, since it would be a totally different show with having to uphold different standards from broadcast.

  • K-Fed

    WOOOOOWIE!!! I just had a minor freak out! Absolutely outstanding premiere, and the numbers match! As they rightly should!

  • RyanT

    Now I’m more impressed at how much REVENGE held its ratings last night amidst such huge competition.

  • ender650

    Those are really amazing numbers, even more so with the Dish dispute. I loved the episode last night- hopefully the rest of the season will be great too.

  • richard



  • Marcos

    Really?! I loved season 1 but season 2 sucked big time. I’ve forced myself to watch it and I couldn’t take it anymore. It’s insane people still on board with this and it still breaking records. I love genre series specially the horror ones. I always root to succeed cause its really hard them to do it but I don’t think TWD is deserving

  • John A

    I dont think Revenge did bad but a 2.7 isnt a bragging rating.

  • DW

    i said it before and will say it again. who knew that young people would be into zombies. it will go down in ratings as the season progresses. not being a downer just a realist. and i am a fan of the show.

  • Dirty Mistress’ Young Nephew

    I agree Marcos. I really don’t understand the show’s success.

  • The End

    When I saw this reported I was like Holy Beep, then I checked here thinking surely this is some mistake, and you’re reporting that too. And can only say jesus christ. Incredible.

  • richard

    Season 2 was a million times better than season 1. hopefully season 3 can top season 2. seems impossible. but if anyone can do it, is the peopke who borught us season 2 to begin with

  • The End


    To be fair, Season 2 did drag on the Sofia story for way too long and didn’t actually get interesting till that ended, and of course the stuff with Rick and Shane.

  • Bay


  • Jenna

    @Marcos I don’t what show you’ve been watching, the last 3 episodes of season 2 and last night’s premiere were all among the best of the show save the series premiere.

  • UMGuy423

    I somewhat enjoyed Season 1, but haven’t watched it since the first half of Season 2. Thought it went downhill and was poorly written, but I can see the popularity of it because of the zombie gore.

  • richard

    someone else said this but when the list of highest rated shows (18-49) comes out at the end of the season, this could very well be # 2. who would have thought that amc would ever reach that, back a few years ago when they just had breaking bad and mad men

  • Meanie

    7.3 million people watch the premiere episode of The Walking Dead congrats to AMC. There will def be a season 4 renewal.

    Well AMC probably like I don’t need dish at all cause we still did big numbers.

  • cimmer

    I’m happy, not only for the show but for AMC. They’ve proven you can get critical acclaim and ratings with their line up (for most of their line up anyway lol). Good for them, looks like TCM taking away most of their access to classic movies all those years ago ended up being a huge silver lining in the clouds for AMC.

  • richard

    im watching fear fest this week.

  • Kyle7


    That’s insane. In a good way.

    It’s interesting that people seem to be more willing to jump into and/or catch up on cable dramas a season or two into their runs than network shows. Granted, cable nets seem to be more willing to give their mediocrely-performing shows more time to build an audience, and obviously they have lower ratings standards, but I can’t recall the last time a network drama actually gained a significant number of viewers (especially demo viewers) as the first season progressed, or from the first to the second season.

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