It doesn’t come as a surprise that AMC’s “The Walking Dead” has dominated the cable ratings as the second half of its season three premiered last week. Sunday’s return brought huge ratings to the cable network with 12.3 million viewers tuning in, shattering the series’ previous high of 10.9 million for the Season 3 premiere last October. To put that in some kind of context, that means the episode outperformed all of the broadcast networks’ shows for the evening with the exception of CBS’ coverage of the Grammy Awards, in terms of total viewers.
The premiere also broke other records. It set a new high for the demographic of adults 18 to 49 for any series in basic cable history with 7.7 million viewers in that particular age range. That makes the season three average rating for the 18-to-49 demo is 6.8 million, a number higher than that for mainstream hits like NCIS, Two and a Half Men and The Big Bang Theory. 7.7 million viewers for that demo translates into a 6.1 rating for the episode, meaning that this week’s Walking Dead beat Fox’s American Idol (which got a 4.1 rating).
In case you want to hear that again and rejoice, The Walking Dead beat American Idol in terms of the viewers that advertisers pay attention to this week.
AMC’s president, Charlie Collier said,
“When you look at numbers like this, the first thing that comes to mind is how grateful we are to the fans of this show. They embrace The Walking Dead in a way that we wanted to believe was possible but we never take for granted. The cast and crew put everything they have into making this show. They’re a phenomenally talented group who truly give their all. We congratulate everyone involved.”
The third season of The Walking Dead continues this Sunday on AMC.