‘Walking Dead’ Season 3 Midseason Premiere Scores Ratings High

Published 2 years ago by , Updated February 12th, 2013 at 6:42 am,

Walking Dead Season 3 Ratings Record Walking Dead Season 3 Midseason Premiere Scores Ratings High

This is starting to become a routine statement, but The Walking Dead has scored another ratings high for both AMC TV and cable TV as a whole.

AMC’s zombie apocalypse drama had its season 3 midseason premiere last night (read our review), which saw Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) and his band of survivors in the midst of chaos that could drag them into all-out war with the residents of Woodbury and their maniacal leader, The Governor (David Morrissey).

According to reports, The Walking Dead season 3.5 premiere scored 12.3 millon viewers; factoring in repeat airings, the total number of viewers was 16.6 million. The previous record for an ad-supported cable series (read: shows with commercials) was the Walking Dead season 3 premiere in Fall of 2012 (10.9 viewers). According to Variety, this is a 51% increase over the midseason premiere of the show’s highly-debated sophomore season, showing that the departure of original showrunner Frank Darabont has had anything BUT an adverse effect on Walking Dead‘s performance (though creative quality is another discussion…).

Walking Dead Season 3 Midseason Premiere The Governor Walking Dead Season 3 Midseason Premiere Scores Ratings High

In the key demographic of adults 18-49, the show is performing even better; The Walking Dead season 3.5 premiere has shown the strongest ratings in that demo of any cable show – and has only been been bested in 2013 by a Jan 10th episode of CBS’ ratings Juggernaut, The Big Bang Theory

If  you can’t read the ratings on the wall, The Walking Dead is now officially marking the point at which cable TV is not only competing with the network TV model of broadcast entertainment – it’s besting it. Putting up these kinds of numbers detracts from the notion that cable shows ‘perform well… for cable‘; for AMC, it continues to set a new precedent – and brings a whole new slew of problems.

AMC’s highly-publicized fallout (and ultimate reconcilliation) with Mad Men creator Mattew Weiner has been something discussed around these parts at length. In choosing to pay Weiner handsomely in exchange for the final seasons of Mad Men (5, 6 and 7), the network has, essentially, footed a bill it can barely cover – at the expense of shows like Breaking Bad and even The Walking Dead, which happens to be the only show AMC actually owns (read: profits the most from).

The Walking Dead Season 3 Midseason Premiere Ratings Walking Dead Season 3 Midseason Premiere Scores Ratings High

This budget-slashing, ‘toe before the foot’ decision has led Walking Dead into some troubled waters. Frank Darabont left in season 2 largely over creative differences (read: having his episode budget slashed despite scoring promising ratings; and Darabont’s replacement, Glen Mazzarra, is leaving after season 3 for what are apparently similar gripes. Show writer/producer Scott Gimple will run things in season 4 – hopefully for a longer stretch than his predecessors.

Watching AMC’s rise (no pun) has been an interesting experiment – and this latest ratings milestone adds just one more level of intrigue to the story. Sure, it is the critical acclaim of shows like Mad Men that brought a viewing audience to the network; but it’s Walking Dead that is bringing in the masses – and presumably the advertising dollars. Taken altogether, it’s like watching a kid on the cusp between Jr. high and high school trying to decide if he/she is going to be the brilliant-but-lonely drama geek, or the popular (but compromised) kid around campus.

Will continued ratings bumps make AMC rethink where their money gets invested and how their flagship show should be run? Time will tell.


Meanwhile, you can catch the rest of The Walking Dead season 3 Sundays @ 9/8c on AMC.

Source: Variety

All Images courtesy of AMC TV

Follow Kofi Outlaw on Twitter @ppnkof
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  1. HOW??, I along with so many other fans watched it and thought it was one of the weakest episodes

    • But you still actually watched it. That’s what matters.

      • Haha, don’t mind my comment, I glanced at the words high score and thought it meant good reviews, not high viewer ratings, eh, nevermind, I didn’t have any coffee this morning obviously

    • Agreed. It just felt off from the opening scene. Don’t care for Rick being all unstable. He has always been the rock on this show, so if he ain’t “John Wayne” from one episode to the next, the quality of the show suffers.

    • Because if you say it is a weakest, along with others. You all still tuned into watch it.

    • I have several crticisms of this episode and this seasons and this show.

      1. No hot chicks, as near as I can tell the hottest chicks used were zombies and that’s nasty I ain’t touchin no decomposin skankwad. There’s no ladies on this show, come on, dudes like me need some eye candy yo!

      2. This michonne chick neds to go she’s a liability, she uses a sword and is afraid to use a gun, typical female in an apocalypse. She’s gonna get everyone killed yo, I mean look what she did to the guvnah cuz she’s so accident prone. No one ever told her to not point that at anyone, and look what happened, somone lost a freakin eye!

      3. Lori needs to just die and go away, that two bit two timing skank cheated on rick and now she’s harrassing him. If he were smart he’d lock her up and throw her in a cell permanently on death row, they are in a jail and he is a cop! Screw justice, all cheaters should be given corporal punishment, and the fact that since she had the baby she just gets to go around and do whatever she wants is bad for the group and a bad role model for america!

      4. Carol’s hair looks stupid.

      5. Herschels daughters need to figure what age they are I can’t tell if they are minors or not, one episode they bare and. then the next its ok for them to have sex and get married and have babies. What the hell?! There’s no consistency on this show the writers need to decide what age these girls are so that I know whether or not its ok to call them hot chicks. Cuz their might be one if I knew their age and I might be able to retract number 1.

      6. Andrea is a dumb blonde who deserves to die. She almost shot daryl, she betryaed the group, she’s a traitor with a bad track record of bad decisions and not listening to whose in charge. Typical female right? Plus she has the balls to make u think she’s pretty from behind and then she turns around and is all psych I’m fugly not hot in your face!

      • This can’t be a serious comment, yo…

      • This has to be the dumbest comment I have ever read. Wow!

      • You sound as if you could write for the show. Seriously, how does anyone suspend their belief that these characters managed to survive on their own BEFORE the zombie apocalypse.

  2. The Lori ghost thing was campy. Didn’t mind a brief glimpse of her, with maybe a subtle reaction from Rick, but it got ridiculous when he began ranting. Why would anyone follow someone who is clearly mad at this point, and how are the writers going to pull it back, to make him a believable leader again? Perhaps if he finds her as a walker, that would shock him back to reality? (I do not abide by the belief that she was eaten whole by the other walkers, and thus, my suggestion.)

    • I 100% agree with you. No way that zombie ate her whole bones and all. I think that would be a great twist to see Lori somehow in the prison walking about… maybe even biting some one. How messed up would that be.

      I thought this episode wasn’t one of the best but far from being bad. I think all of us expect so much from this show because they pull it off each time. I was expecting more but still enjoyed it.

      Also I can see the group looking towards Rick as the leader again. He has gone through so much in the past couple of days. He needs rest. He is running on empty. I think they all realize that. Its still pretty bad that he did that in front of all of them though.

      • I don’t know if you guys remember but Carl shot her in the head once she died from giving birth so she won’t be walking around as a zombie.

        • They never showed that.

          • Exactly, they never actually showed that, so the door was left open for some reason. As it is extremely unlikely that we will see her alive again, the more likely possibility is that we will see her as a walker, possibly during the season finale/cliffhanger.

            • I hate to say it, but she dies in the prison anyway in the comic. So, I seriously doubt they will bring her back.

              And it’s not her ghost. That’s driving me crazy that people are making that assumption. Rick has lost it. He thought he heard her on the phone. The connection broke when he spoke to her last. So it left it unresolved for him. He’s simply seeing her because he can’t let go of the guilt that he feels as a leader for failing (albeit only perceived) his group and especially failing Lori. So, while he’s screaming at her to go away, he can’t let her go.

          • But they did show Rick kicking zombie butt in that area of the prison, he was doing that for hours (if memory serves right)… That zombie that “ate lori whole” was not the only zombie in the area.

            It could have been a dozen zombies that took part in eating Lori (we do not know how many he killed), so just because they showed one that was near where Lori died, does not mean that that particular zombie was the only zombie involved in eating Lori.

            • Still, though, there was not a trace of her left. Haven’t seen any other character completely devoured like that. Just not believable in this show that, although unbelievable, attempts to portray itself as being realistic.

              • I know what you mean, but how realistic can a show about zombies be?

  3. Good for the show.

    I hope Andrea dies this season, I’m not liking how she is turning out.

    As long as Rick, Maggie, Glen and Darryl are still alive…I’ll still be watching.

    • Andrea’s not going anywhere. I am not sure why Kirkman chose to put her in with the Governor, but in the comic she’s one of the few remaining originals.

      Actually, I am glad it’s not following the comic exactly. I have no idea what’s going to happen in each of the new episodes and that certainly makes for exciting tv.

      • So, in other words, who knows. She may die.

        • No she won’t

    • I don’t wish ill on anyone (well, that’s mostly right), but I want Andrea to be Sophia’d, and fast. It’s not that I don’t buy the character or what she’s doing or her role in the overall plot. It’s that I don’t buy what I’m seeing from the actress. Her performance is off for me. She’s so distracting that it pulls me out of the scene nearly every time. Actually, her performance here is, in my opinion, identical to the performance she gave in King’s movie, The Mist. She was annoying then. She’s annoying now.

      • I agree with you 100%

  4. Don’t like the direction the show is heading, don’t know if they’ll be able to fix this thing with Rick, how can anybody follow someone who had a mental breakdown and aimed his weapon at them. Yeah, and that scene with the over stuffed walker that suppose to make us think that he ate Lorie till the last piece of bone was dumb.

    • I agree. It would have taken several walkers to feast on Lori to the last bone, and then I still don’t buy it. Most of the time the walkers get distracted by something and they go off looking for their next meal. The rest of the gang was still trying to get to safety, so I know the walker eating Lori would have shamble off in search of other prey.

      I don’t line this Rick storyline either. I knew one episode would not solve his problem, but please do not have him seeing her for the rest of the season. If he needs to work out issues regarding Lori, Shane, and guilt in general, he needs to do it inside his own head. Or, in private.

      I truly believe that if the show goes on long enough, Carl is going to make a good leader. I hope that he, Beth, and the baby make it out alive. Those three still have a chance to hold onto their humanity.

      Someone may ask,”who cares”? Well, humanity made Carl and Hershel speak for letting Tyrese and company stay. Humanity makes Beth take care of a child that is not her child. Humanity made Darryl decide to help total strangers, and go back to the group. And, humanity does not equal stupidity either.

  5. dam walking dead just keeps breaking those records

  6. To everyone that thinks that Lori was eaten whole:

    That Walker was not the only walker in the basement.

    Him kicking zombie butt for hours was proof enough.

    • And him covered in blood…

  7. I thought the episode was Ok to. I think its interesting how Rick’s breaking down to the point where he can’t control himself infront of others. Up until now I don’t think anybody had noticed. Next episode I’m sure this will be address.

    “it’s Walking Dead that is bringing in the masses – and presumably the advertising dollars.”

    Hmm…I guess thats why i started to notice that commerscials tend to play for 4-5 mins a break. It’s starting to get annoying..

    • Yeah, that last commercial break before the episode wrapped up lasted 5 minutes. That’s just ridiculous.

    • The episode was still 43 minutes long (the average for a cable show is 42), so the long commercial breaks has more to do with there being fewer breaks overall (thus the ones that are there are longer).

      Anyway, as for Rick’s mental state, it’s easy to forget it’s only been a few days in-universe since Lori died, and Rick has had almost no down-time to actually process it. It’s easy to see how he could crack when he gets so much pressure put on him, and his decisions are what ultimately led to his wife’s death. Add on to that the fact that his son was the one who had to put her down, and he’s now responsible for a baby that probably isn’t his, AND he just pissed off a powerful enemy who knows exactly where they are… Plus the only people he could probably call friends are either dead (T-Dog), gone for good (Daryl, at least as far as Rick knows), or pissed off at him (Glen).

      Rick has had a ROUGH couple of days.

  8. This episode was very weak compare to the rhythm of the first 8 episodes.

    It broke the records due to the NOSTALGIA FACTOR…

    I felt the same way I did in the first 6 episodes of season 2. A complete Soap Opera aka Novela.

  9. I agree that this episode wasn’t the best, but it was nowhere near season 2 bad. Still the best show on TV, and I look forward to every episode coming up.

    • Best tv show? Nah. Sons of Anarchy and Breaking Bad own this. Plus, comics are better. You can read all about it there.

      • Agreed

  10. Rick seeing a presumed ghost Lori isn’t the first time Rick is “seeing things”. Don’t forget Rick had a vision of Shane coming at him with a gun at Woodbury while they were rescuing Glen & Maggie in the midseason finale. The visions, the phone calls. It’s only been a few days so he really hasn’t had time to deal with losing Lori and up until Rick “sees” Lori and starts ranting, only Hershel has suspected something’s off with him.

  11. I would just like to see Tyrese step up. Let Rick work out his stuff and then we get the big showdown with the Governor. Although, I think that the Governor won’t meet his end until the next season.

    • The end of the Governor probably won’t happen until next season considering seasons 3 & 4 are centered around the prison/woodbury

  12. This doesn’t surprise me anymore. The show is just getting more and more popular. For example, at the beginning of the season maybe 25% of my co-workers have watched the show. As of today it’s more like 60% and growing. One of the girls told me that they liked that it’s not all blood and guts action but that it also had some drama in their as well, hence a “drama” series. Most of the guys have read the comics and although they had some complaints(mostly season 2) they are happy with the direction it’s going(keeping some parts from the comics and some parts are new from the comics). I only see this series getting more popular every season unless Rick is axed, LOL.

  13. As long as they don’t follow the comics too closely they should be ok. If they were to follow the comics verbatum they’d lose all but the die hard fans of the comics because the characters really go to crap half way through the series

  14. Really weak episode at some points, really good at others.

    Good: Governor being a Badass

    Bad: Andrea being retarded. Rick losing his sh*t.

    It’s okay if he hears things on a phone, but he’s not supposed to see ghosts. That’s just annoying, like Andrea.
    And what’s wrong with Samurai girl? She’s supposed to be a new ally, not a complete nutcase ffs.

    • Rick losing his poo could be a way to keep michonne and get Ty into a leader role.

    • And yeah Andrea may be more trying to help the people of Woodbury hold on to the idea of a normal place in an apocalyptic world?

      • Their is nothing wrong with Andrea trying to get the people at Woodbury to hold on. Woodbury may be the last normal enough bastion of civilization. What purpose would be served if the people just bust down the gates and go their separate ways. They would be dead in a matter of hours. That is why they stay at Woodbury. They stay for a sense of safety and community. What is so wrong with that. I am sure most of the people there don’t know how truly sick the Gov is.

        I just want the writers have her choose a definite side and stay there. She really fits in at Woodbury. I hope they leave her there. She can benefit thoses people more. To much time has elasped since she was with Rick’s group. Michonne never knew them, so she is getting a clean slate with them and vice versa.

  15. Thoughts on whether or not Rick will keep his hand?

    • I think he loses it… remember, “eye for an eye”

    • I was pretty sure Kirkman said that Rick will keep his hand

  16. Michonne character is taking to long to develop. She’s giving the impression she’s against everybody… that sucks.. Its time for her to open up. In the comics she’s much more friendly… But since their nothing taking the comics route from the first day, this show is lost anyway.

  17. hi i’m Emma Smock and my mom,dad, and i are a fan of your show. We can’t wate to see the next episode. My address is 108 6th street north west Oelwein Iowa

  18. I feel that the story and writers are turning this show into a group of annoying characters.
    Rick, clearing is losing the plot and yet again chases away a group of people that seemed good. I find his character to be just an a**hole. And Daryl’s brother needs to go, if he joins the group after everything he has done that will just be plain stupid.
    Everytime a new person joins they just quickly kill them off.. Firstly Oscar, and now Axel… They went to all the trouble of starting to develop Axel’s character by letting him get to know Carol and start what looks like a possible romantic interest then just shoot him in the head.. So developing his character was pointless and just felt like the writers were filling in time.
    When they went back for Daryl Maggie had a clear shot and instead of shooting the Governor wasted a bullet on a zombie.. Laughable…

    This show for me is starting to feel like the old show Heroes.. And what I mean by that is I will keep watching the show but I actually dont’ like it any more… I will just keep watching it in the hope that it gets better… But I have my doubts.

    • Well that’s the point. No character is safe. That is what makes the show amazing. You never know what to expect.