'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.

# # #

  • USAmerica1st

    Wowza, unbelievable numbers. AMC struck gold and oil at the same time.

  • Hugh

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

    ! Amazing. Congrats. Great news for SCRIPTED TV!

  • DW

    with these numbers it will go 25 years but around the 20th their tree house of terror specials will start to get old. :)

  • Ricardo

    That’s ridiculous!

  • john

    treehouse of terror never gets old!

  • I like this show

    @Ike um FD actually quit because AMC cut their budget to pay for stupid madment and that’s also why Breaking Bad is ending in 8 episodes. You can stop watching TWD if you like it’s not like losing u will dent the ratings lol.

    AMC should run reruns of the past seasons on another night and launch a new show on another night.

  • Jen

    AMC does have a few series in progress, I know one of them is supposed to be filming the pilot this season with Lennie James (Morgan from TWD). Maybe they’re going introduce it with the second half of season 3 next year?

  • Sam

    That’s horrible, it’s probably doing better than AI this year. The show’s budget should be way bigger with the kind of money they must be getting with those numbers

  • john

    I wish they would get Lennie James back on the show He was phenomenal in the first episode.

  • BigFatMouthFilledWithCream83



    Yeah, you totally are! And your CAPS button is stuck. Try puffing a little french chalk on it. It’ll pop right back.

  • Ultima

    The networks are officially dead.

    I don’t think you know what the word “officially” means.

    Even without dish little Amc crushes all network shows this season.

    I also don’t think you have even the slighest clue when it comes to ratings.

    You should be asking questions here, not opining.

  • upol

    wow, it has become a legend and a ratings monster, awesome season premiere

  • Justin121

    I still can’t believe that number.

    It beat every single episode of Modern Family this year.

    It could be the #1 show for the season, beating American Idol, Modern Family, The Voice, and The Big Bang Theory.

  • Grimman

    Well no guff. This show rules just like Breaking Bad, Hell on Wheels and Mad Men. This channel rules.

  • OMG

    The show would not have thrived if it had been on broadcast, given all the strict censoring.

    I have to wonder though, are people staying tune more for the great story (interactions and great exploration of the themes) or for the mindless gore of seeing zombies being killed? Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy both aspects, but I am a bit cynical when people talk about scripted shows being hits based on quality alone.

  • Kimmell


  • Dean-W

    A 7.8 would mean 9.76 Million 18-49 but here it’s 7.3 million so demo is around 5.7 :)

  • Jase


    I get what you’re saying. For me, I like how they keep it simple and lay everything out on the table, if you will. No guessing games. While the story can drag a bit, it still moves ahead which is all I care about.

    Sure the mindless gore is a over-the-top, but I have to hand it to the producers, writers, whomever for keeping stuff like that fresh (meaning… a unique/creative killing thrown in every so often).

  • Kyle7

    @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.”

    And that’s why I don’t base my decisions about what media (TV, movies, videogames, books, what have you) to consume based on ads. A good marketing team can play up a bad work when they only need to sell it in 30-90 seconds, and conversely a poor marketing team can make a good product look lousy. I’m much more trusting of people who have actually experienced the work in full (or, in the case of TV, as full as you can get before the next episode is actually aired), in particular critics, who generally don’t fall too far into raging fanboyism or dumb haterism.

  • mz

    Can we get a bigger budget now AMC? So that we can get more zombie explosions?

© 2015 Tribune Digital Ventures