'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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  • Kaylie

    7.8 adults??? Thats crazy and somehow I don’t believe it. But if its true, then Im truly happy for them! :)

  • BxActor

    Yesssssd eat that !!!!

  • John A

    The Talking dead right after it? That is a waste they should make a scripted show to go along with it.

  • The End

    The Talking Dead couldn’t possibly go in any other slot. It’s a pure fanservice show.

    Though I guess you could place prior to new episodes if you don’t want to put a repeat there but the ratings would be a lot worse. It wouldn’t make sense financially.

  • AO’s Sock Puppet Account

    Time to cut the budget again?

  • senor chang

    I have no words. This is incredible.
    AMC needs to slot something scripted with mass appeal here.

  • AO

    They likely make a great profit from The Talking Dead. But at the same time, it *is* a great platform with which to launch another drama.

  • BigFatMouthFilledWithCream83

    Didn’t think it possible, but it’s fantastic! The premiere was great.

  • john

    I am relieved that NBC passed on Walking Dead years ago. The content would have been so watered down by network tv. Now I wish that the Dish dispute had been resolved to see just how high the ratings could have been.

  • The End


    It would depend solely on how many Nielsen households have Dish to begin with. For one, out of 20,000 or so households, how many would you think have Dish?

    If a few hundred had Dish and wanted to watch The Walking Dead these numbers would be more amazing. By a factor of several times to me.

  • valezza


  • john

    @The End

    It’s a shame for the Dish viewers and the ratings.I hope they get the dish dispute resolved. I want to see this show maximize its ratings potential before it begins an inevitable decline.

  • Larry

    Wonder what the ratings could have been if the show had shown on Dish.

  • Zee

    Valezza, no need for caps! It’s not like you writing in caps means your opinion matters lol. Great show but good premiere. Hope it picks up in the coming weeks. Outstanding Ratings!

  • charmedcraft

    I’ve been watching TWD on netflix since I got no cable :( I can wait till season 3 comes out; it’s so good.

  • forg

    Oh WOW!

  • Tested

    I have never watched any of the series on AMC. Generally speaking the ads for the shows don’t do anything to really entice me to watch. I am always surprised at how many other people seem interested in these shows. Any network would be thrilled to have these numbers.

  • Aeiouy

    The networks are officially dead. Even without dish little Amc crushes all network shows this season.

  • Ratingly

    They really should get a new scripted show to put right after it. Soon.

  • john

    Its too bad amc doesnt have american horror story. It would thematically be a good companion show.

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