AMC’s The Walking Dead wrapped the fall portion of its third season in style, logging a monster 10.5 million total viewers for the premiere 9 PM telecast and 15.2 million for the night, including two encores. That was just shy of the record-breaking 10.9 million Live+Same Day total viewers who tuned in to the third season premiere in October. Compared with Season 2 midseason finale in 2011, last night’s audience was up a whopping 58%. The Walking Dead midseason finale drew 6.9 million adults 18-49, up 54% vs. Season 2, and 6.0 million adults 25-54, up 52%. Both qualify as the second-highest deliveries for the zombie series behind the Season 3 premiere (7.3 million in 18-49, 6.1 million in 25-54).
The October series premiere of The Walking Dead ranks as the top telecast on broadcast or cable this fall among adults 18-49. And now, the series’ 18-49 average has topped all other fall series — cable or broadcast. The Walking Dead Season 3 to date also reigns as the No. 1 ad-supported drama series in basic cable history among total viewers, adults 18-49, adults 25-54, adults 18-34 and all male demos. The remaining eight episodes of The Walking Dead Season 3 launch February 10.