AMC's 'The Walking Dead' Returns With 12.3 Million Viewers

Breaks Own Cable Record Among 18-49 Viewers

AMC’s drama series The Walking Dead continues to slice off record chunks of viewers.

Last night’s mid-season three debut episode drew a series record 12.3 million viewers during its 9 p.m. premiere, besting the show’s 10.9 million viewer mark from its Oct. 14, 2012 season three premiere, the network said.

The zombie-themed drama also set a record among adults 18-49, averaging 7.7 million viewers, shattering the record from the show’s Oct. 14 2012 episode. Overall, The Walking Dead’s current  season three series average of 6.8 million adults 18-49 outperforms other broadcast TV television series season averages including Modern Family,The Big Bang Theory, Two and A Half Men, and NCIS

Two encore showings of the 9 p.m. premiere increased the show’s overall audience to 16.6 million viewers for the night.

AMC’s live post-The Walking Dead series Talking Dead drew 4.1 million viewers, according to the network.  

"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,” said Charlie Collier, AMC’s president in a statement. “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.”