Big Easter-Night Ratings for Cable Series

‘Game of Thrones,’ ‘Walking Dead’ Set Benchmarks; ‘The Bible’ Finale Draws 12.3M 4/01/2013 12:51 PM Eastern

The season-three finale of AMC’s The Walking Dead and the season-three return of HBO's Game of Thrones both set series-best marks on a competitive Easter Sunday night on the cable dial.

Also Sunday night, some 11.7 million total viewers turned to History for the conclusion of The Bible, fittingly titled “The Resurrection,” a 14% increase from the week prior.

The third-season finale of AMC's The Walking Dead drew a series-best 12.4 million viewers Sunday at 9 p.m., just ahead of this year's mid-season premiere in February (12.3 million). The season-three debut of HBO’s Game of Thrones in that same timeslot Sunday night drew a series-best 4.4 million viewers to the premium channel.

According to History, though, The Bible barely edged the zombie drama in the 9 to 10 p.m. hour, drawing 12.33 million total viewers to Walking Dead’s 12.29.

Walking Dead’s rated 38% higher than last year's finale (9 million). The third-season ender also drew a series-high with 8.1 adults 18-49, up 5% over the mid-season premiere and up 35% over last year in that demo.

The series' season average of 7.03 million adults 18-49 is also number one for the broadcast season among all networks, season-to-date.

After the 9 p.m. finale, wrap-up show Talking Dead drew a record 5.2 million viewers and 3.3 million adults 18-49, up 27% and 22%, respectively over the mid-season premiere.

The return of HBO’s Thrones was up 13% over last year's premiere (3.9 million) and also 4% higher than where the show left off (4.2 million). Across three plays, Thrones drew a series-high 6.7 million viewers, up 7% from's 6.3 million.

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