By BILL CARTER
“The Walking Dead,” AMC’s hugely popular drama, became the biggest hit of the fall television season Monday night, with the premiere of its third season posting ratings that surpassed every other non-sports program on television in most viewing categories.
The show attracted 10.9 million total viewers for its 9 p.m. initial airing: that beat every entertainment show on every broadcast network Sunday night, topped only by NFL football on NBC – and possibly “60 Minutes on CBS. (The overnight figures for the 7 p.m. hour on CBS included both some NFL games and 60 Minutes.”)
More significantly, “Dead” pulled in 7.3 million viewers between the ages of 18 and 49, the category that advertisers most prefer. Not only did that beat just about everything else on Sunday, except football, it beat everything else in non-sports programming that has been on television so far this fall. That means it ranks above such hits as “Modern Family” on ABC (7 million), “The Big Bang Theory” on CBS (6.3 million) and “The Voice” on NBC (6.1 million.)
The season three premiere puts “The Walking Dead” at the top of all dramas in the history of basic cable television. With those 10.9 million viewers, the series tops its own previous record, set by the show’s finale last season, of 9 million. The viewing figures were up 50 percent over last season’s premiere.
And all of these numbers were for the first telecast of the episode. “Dead” was repeated at 10 p.m. and attracted another 3.5 million viewers, and again at midnight, with 850,000 more. Overall, the show was seen by 15.2 million viewers on the night. That number is sure to expand significantly, however, when the figures for delayed viewing on digital video recorders are counted.
Last edited by s7venwords; 10-15-2012 at 03:10 PM..