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tv news

With season three premiere, The Walking Dead has its highest ratings ever

Posted by Patrick Sauriol on Monday, October 15, 2012

The Walking Dead returned last night for its third season premiere and audiences feasted upon it.

AMC issued an announcement about how big the audience was for the premiere episode and you could practically see the smiles on the programming execs faces between the lines. It turns out that the season three Walking Dead episode attracted 10.9 million viewers, which works out to a 7.4 household rating.

Those 10.9 million viewers were the show's biggest audience ever, surpassing the second season's premiere episode by more than 50%.

Because AMC repeats new episodes of its series, the second broadcast of The Walking Dead drew 3.5 million viewers, followed by an encore midnight third showing which netted 850,000 watchers. Combined, all three showings of The Walking Dead's first episode of the third season had 15.2 million viewers.

Undoubtedly this news is ever better than AMC could have anticipated. Ever since its debut on the cable channel two years ago, The Walking Dead has set not only viewership records for AMC but also for cable television. Now with the increased season three ratings The Walking Dead is matching or surpassing full-fledged network shows like ABC's Modern Family, MTV's Jersey Shore or CBS' The Big Bang Theory.

One of the reasons why the season three premiere of The Walking Dead got so many eyeballs may have to do with this season's anticipated storyline and the introduction of two new characters, The Governor (played by David Morrissey) and Michonne (Danai Gurira). Both are favorites of the fans that have been reading the Walking Dead comic book series, and the mystique that surrounds each one may have crossed over into some of the advance marketing hype in the mainstream press.

Season three sees Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) and his group of survivors come across a prison. There they decide to use its chain link fences and high concrete perimeter as a protection against the hordes of zombies walking around the countryside. Grimes also encounters The Governor and soon the two become adversaries, with The Governor wanting to take away the fortified prison building from Grimes and his people at any cost.

Also starring in The Walking Dead are Sarah Wayne Callies, Laurie Holden, Steven Yeun, Norman Reedus, Chandler Riggs, Lauren Cohan, Scott Wilson, IronE Singleton and Melissa McBride. Michael Rooker is also coming back to play the part of Merle Dixon, the older, now one-armed brother of Reedus' Daryl.

-AMC.

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