Even the Grammy Awards can’t slow the momentum of AMC’s “The Walking Dead,” which resumed its third season Sunday with record ratings, Variety reported.
Preliminary estimates from Nielsen show “The Walking Dead” averaging a whopping 12.3 million viewers in its regular 9 p.m. timeslot and then adding 4.1 million viewers for a quickie repeat at 10. The previous high for a single telecast of the drama was the 10.87 million who tuned in for the third-season premiere at 10.
Compared to the second-half launch of its second season at this time a year ago, Sunday’s episode was up by 45% in adults 18-49 (7.7 million vs. 4.3 million) and by 52% in total viewers (12.3 million vs. 8.1 million). The year-ago winter premiere also went up against the Grammys, with last year’s show drawing an audience of nearly 40 million.
AMC ordered 16 episodes of “The Walking Dead” this season, with the first eight airing in the fall and the current eight wrapping the show’s third season on March 31.