'The Walking Dead' is the First Cable Series to Beat Every Other Show of the Fall Broadcast Season in Adults 18-49 Rating

Categories: 1-Featured,Network TV Press Releases

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December 3rd, 2012


Mid-season finale earned a 5.4 Adults 18-49 rating. Your predictions were too optimistic.

via press release:














New York – December 3, 2012 – AMC’s “The Walking Dead” is the first cable series in television history to reign as the biggest show of the fall season among Adult 18-49 rating, beating all broadcast and cable entertainment series including “The Voice,” “Modern Family,” “X Factor,” “Two and a Half Men,” “The Big Bang Theory” and “Grey’s Anatomy.” Last night, the 9PM premiere of “The Walking Dead’s” mid-season finale delivered 10.5 million viewers.  The series encored at 10PM and then again at midnight, delivering an additional 3.6 million & 1.1 million viewers respectively, totaling 15.2 million viewers for the night. With Live plus 7, “The Walking Dead” adds another 3.4 million viewers a week on average. The Walking Dead” Season 3 to date reigns as the number one ad supported drama series in basic cable history among total viewers, adults 18-49, adults 25-54, adults 18-34, men 18-49, men 25-54 and men 18-34. AMC resumes the final eight episodes of “The Walking Dead” season three on Sunday, February 10th at 9pm EST.


In addition, the season three mid-season finale of “Talking Dead” at 11pm attracted 2.2 million viewers. The live after show, hosted by Chris Hardwick, expands to a one-hour program on Sunday, February 10th at 10pm EST immediately following “The Walking Dead.” Embassy Row’s Michael Davies and Jen Patton serve as executive producers and Brandon Monk is co-executive producer.


Source: Nielsen. Live+SD. M-Sa 8P-11P/Su 7P-11P. The Walking Dead Finale 12/2/12; Season 3A 10/14-12/2/12.  12/13 Fall Season to Date (11/29/12) vs. Previous Fall Seasons To Date Broadcast & Cable.   9/13/93-12/2/12,   Broadcast and Ad Supported Cable, Trackage Level Data.  US RTG A18-49.  Excluding Sports.  Qual Avail Upon Request. 


“Representing both the studio and the network as AMC does on this project, I speak for so many when I say 'thank you' and congratulations to everyone involved,” said Charlie Collier, AMC’s president. “The records that ‘The Walking Dead’ shattered today represent an enormous achievement of which we are so proud."


Key Nielsen Highlights for the mid-season finale of “The Walking Dead”:


  • 9pm:     6.5 HH rating, +44% vs. season 2 mid season finale
  • 9pm:     10.5 million viewers, +58% vs. season 2 mid season finale
  • 9pm:     6.9 million Adults 18-49, +54% vs. season 2 mid season finale  
  • 9pm:     6.0 million Adults 25-54, +52 vs. season 2 mid season finale
  • 9pm,10pm and midnight encores:            Grossed to 15.2 million viewers


Key Nielsen Highlights for the mid season finale of “Talking Dead”:


  • 11pm:         1.5 HH rating with 2.2 million viewers, +67%/+110% vs. season 1 mid-season finale
  • 11pm:         1.5 million Adults 18-49, +111% vs. season 1 mid-season finale
  • 11pm:         1.5 million Adults 25-54, +117% vs. season 1 mid-season finale


Hailed by EW “the greatest thriller ever produced for television,” “The Walking Dead” currently has over 12 and a half million likes on Facebook. “The Walking Dead” is cable's most mentioned show according to Trendrr.tv, out ranking WWE's Monday Night Raw on USA and ESPN's Monday Night Football each week. The series ranks 1st each week vs. all cable.  Last week, “The Walking Dead” ranked #1 on television’s Top Social TV Charts. “Talking Dead” ranked #11. “The Walking Dead” also reins #1 for the week for Cable's Top 20 weekly ranking by General Sentiment.


For the past two years, “The Walking Dead” has received the Emmy® Award for Outstanding Prosthetic Makeup (2011/2012). Based on the comic book series written by Robert Kirkman, “The Walking Dead” tells the story of the months and years that follow the zombie apocalypse. It follows a group of survivors, led by police officer Rick Grimes, who travel in search of a safe and secure home.


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.

  • Zth

    @ PJM The 18-49 rating for The Walking Dead has been constantly higher than the one for Modern Family and The Bing Bang Theory.

  • Jere

    Amc could be trying to do a multi season renew. Like season 4,5 and 6 like other popular shows have been doing lately .

  • Oliver

    Congrats AMC. If you had told someone a decade ago that the #1 show on TV would be on AMC then they would have laughed in your face.

  • DeanW

    I think AMC wanted to wait until the “mid-season finale” to Renew it. Renewal will be announced in the next days :)

  • Meanie

    Renewed it is. I wanted higher viewers also. Hopefully the season finale can’t get higher viewing & huge demo.

    AMC keep the small episodes. When shows get renewed for 22episodes they usually fall off & get boring, and the storylines get stale

  • JJ

    Does TWD still average higher than TBBT in the 18-49 demo? It’s been back and forth between the two the last few weeks, it must be pretty close.

    And Glen Mazzara has said he wouldn’t agree to expaning the episode order so hopefully he keeps his word.

  • The End


    It’s a good way of thinking though, by having 2 lots of 8 episodes in Season 3 he can do 2 story arcs. And at the same time keep it well paced so the story doesn’t drag. I think at most Walking Dead would work with 20 episodes.

    I would prefer Season 4 and 5 to appear as 13 episodes, with a shorter break between them.

  • SarahL

    I thought it would be higher, but way to go, The Walking Dead!

  • Zee King

    The walking dead has beaten every other show in the 18-49 rating including The big bang theory. TWD had the highest 18-49 rating with a massive 5.8 rating, beating TBBT 5.7 rating!
    I wanted it to top 6.0 but i’m sure it will next year!

  • Uofmguy423

    Good for TWD. Still an incredibly stupid show with bad acting and increasingly unbelievable premise, but, heck it’s good popcorn tv.

  • romo

    The #1 show on tv is SNF….its a show.

  • JJ

    @ The End

    Yea, I really like the format, it’s like getting two mini-seasons. It’s more similar to how BBC UK shows are done where each “season” is only 5-8 episodes.

    I know Mazzara would like to make it to 100 episodes. So if he maintains the 16 episode order through season 7 that would get to 99 total, and maybe episode 99 could be like a 2 part special to end the series which could technically be considered 100 episodes for syndication purposes at least.


    @ JJ

    TWD is averaging around a 5.4 & TBBT 5.0

    ASIDE If I may add:

    Cable shows beating broadcast is the shape of things to come, as for the last several years they have been winning their time period (JS, SOA & now Gold Rush) in addition to TWD

  • Dan S

    I’m impressed by these numbers. Too bad the broadcast networks can’t program edgier fare like TWD. I was fortunate enough to get the east coast feed at 6pm locally before I heard any spoilers. This show just gets better all the time.

  • BxActor


  • Ike

    Impressive. Too bad these ratings are going to AMC’s head. First Dish Network, then Suddenlink, and now Verizon. AMC is interrupting Walking Dead lately for Verizon FiOS customers: They’re hitting us with outrageously manipulative screen-shrinking and screen-crawls DURING THE WALKING DEAD where they try to trick FiOS customers into going to a fake-grassroots AMC website to demand that FiOS not drop AMC. Of course the reality is that they’re just using this as an immature negotiating tactic to pressure Verizon to pay AMC a LOT more for its channel which will, of course, cause our rates to go way up. The reality is that Verizon doesn’t want to drop AMC — why would they? Obviously they don’t want to pay much, much, much, much more for it either, though. Interestingly, Verizon is not hitting back with its fake grassroots site, at least not yet.

    When do you ever hear about Verizon FiOS having these disputes with cable channels? Almost never. AMC, OTOH, is doing it constantly. And yet their HD looks like crap compared to other channels!

  • SoFatThatINeedSticks

    Not sure why everyone thought there was gonna be a massive surge. If there’s ever gonna be another season high (unlikely given the massive highs already) it’s gonna either be the S3 finale or the S4 premiere. Mid-season finales really don’t have the punch everyone thinks.

  • JayJay

    Why is everyone complaining? 15.2 million viewers is good enough!

  • EatMorePez

    I’g glad that Talking Dead is expanding to 1 hour. It always seemed a little rushed at 30 minutes.

  • The End


    I agree, and in the future when Walking Dead is over, AMC are going to look awfully silly asking so much to carry their channel. Especially as they have nothing that comes close to the popularity of The Walking Dead.

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