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'Walking Dead' Scores Amazing Record-Breaking Premiere

Television
by Anne Thompson
October 15, 2012 5:06 PM
3 Comments
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AMC 'The Walking Dead'

Sunday was jammed with must-see television this week. The inexplicably weak-hitting New York Yankees were crushed by the Detroit Tigers for the second time in the American League playoffs, while two HBO shows continued their third seasons: "Boardwalk Empire," limping along, and the still vital "Treme." Showtime's "Homeland" finally missed a beat with a rather melodramatic episode that wound up in the same place as last week.

I missed the start of the second season of the revamped "Upstairs Downstairs," which now that I've seen the superior "Downton Abbey," I may just skip. And I can't wait to catch the Season Three premiere of AMC's zombie actioner "The Walking Dead," which scored 10.9 million viewers in the first showing and 15 million for the night, breaking a cable record and proving that when it comes to grabbing the public, genre always wins.

That makes the premiere the most-watched episode in the "Walking Dead" series, of any cable series, and  for any cable drama.  And that was without any help from the Dish network.

A year ago with Dish carrying the show, the Season two premiere drew 7.3 million viewers, while the finale pulled 9 million.  By comparison, in the 9 pm slot "Empire" has been averaging 2.5 million. "Walking Dead" beat out Showtime's "Dexter" as well as all its network competition, CBS's "The Good Wife" and ABC's "Revenge." This at a time when the numbers for ABC and CBS are significantly down; thanks to its comedy series, NBC is up 12 %.

Variety does a complete breakdown of the week's numbers here.

Television
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More: Television, AMC

3 Comments

  • loco73 | October 31, 2012 2:11 AMReply

    Well deserved numbers, as "The Walking Dead" is an excellent show, bar none one of the best I've ever seen. I really like "Boardwalk Empire", I gave up on "Homeland" after the ending of the first season...no interest there anymore, its turning like "24" a show that shouldn't have lasted past its first season. "Homeland" would have worked better as a mini-series.

    "The Walking Dead", "Boardwalk Empire", "The Killing" (while it was on) and my absolute favourite series of all time, "Game Of Thrones", are shows that make TV watching fun!

  • Daniela | October 16, 2012 4:12 AMReply

    I'm Italian and my 2 favorite series are The Walking Dead and Boardwalk Empire. They're both superb in their genres. They can't be compared, but it's the best television that I've seen ever. Americans do it much better!

  • Nelson | October 15, 2012 8:47 PMReply

    I am an avid watcher of Boardwalk Empire. It is by far the best show on TV. You cannot compare The Walking Deads numbers to Boardwalk. HBO and Showtime are paid channels, AMC is not. Majority of cable viewers do NOT pay for showtime or hbo. Boardwalk is a far superior show to Dexter and Walking Dead.

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