'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

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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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  • Lane

    LOL Will this be the first time a CABLE show is the number one show of the year?


  • Nadine

    Couldn’t happen to a nicer network.

  • oklah23

    Watching wif my family, after we finished watching it, my 1st son asked me
    “Papa can u play again the zombie”. Well i intend to watch it again tomolo.
    Good season openning.

    From Malaysia.

  • Kat

    LOLLLL and we were all worried that the ratings would drop because of DISH. Guess they never anticipated how awesome the show is.

  • groove365

    I thought the show had a good chance of growing since last season. I know quite a few people who watched the first two season over the last few months and were anticipating the third.

  • Jesse

    So the only thing that has done better than This premiere is Monday night football and the BCS championship game among the 18-49 demo.

  • Mike

    That is SO great !
    I love this show !

  • Joao

    Can’t wait for American horror Story,before all that the world can ends or not ‘-‘

  • Baaa!

    First season was great, but like some I found the first part of two so slow it lost my interest. Caught up with it on DVD and it did get better later, other than some problems I had with some of the characters and their actions. I can overlook that, if at least i feel there is progression and it did progress. I have DISH so guess I have to wait to catch it online, but comments I have heard and the moving story have me interested again.

  • Skylar

    Holy sh*t

  • LisaM

    A friend of mine has DISH and she said she got to see the show after freaking that she was going to miss it. But you’re saying DISH didn’t show it? Hmm, not sure how she saw it then. But it was good, much on the zombies but great with the characters anyway.

  • Schmoker

    AMC just announced Walking Dead renewed up through season 19.

  • Skylar

    AMC should really use TWD to premiere other shows

  • Jason50

    Just finished watching the premire, very good episode. The show has been very good since the last 4 or 5 episodes of last year. It’s back in my list of top ten shows.

  • CordCutter

    Just like Mad Men, expect NF to jump out soon and claim they are the source of the new record highs. Without full disclosure of their numbers we’ll never know.

  • The End

    I’m not following the comic books but did hear that what happened to Herschel was actually meant to happen to Dale in the comic books. Interesting the way that, although Dale wasn’t supposed to pass away when he did, they still used that scenario from the comic books.

    After all they did say they were loosely adapting them. I’m guessing with Robert Kirkman as executive producer, he managed to retain some things.

  • Dave


    According to E! Online, “Dish Network customers were not able to tune in due to the carriage dispute with AMC, so you can only imagine what the numbers could have been with those added eyeballs. The network tried to stream the episode online for Dish subscribers missing out on the premiere, but the site crashed from the overwhelming traffic. “

  • Tabitha

    My guilty pleasure :)

  • Ian

    this makes me very very VERY happy!!! last nights premier was awesome! and dish network executives cry in the corner (as they should be…)

  • Jeff

    WOW! Unreal #’s. Now, maybe this will be the year gets some Emmy love, as it richly deserves that along with the high ratings!

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