If anyone had doubts about the popularity of The Walking Dead past the first season, the premiere of season 2 not only surpassed ratings for the previous season, but also hit a new record for basic cable. The three airings last night brought in a total of 11 million viewers, with the first airing reaching 7.3 million viewers. In comparison the first season pilot had 5.3 million viewers, while the first season finale had 6 million viewers.

"Last night’s season two premiere of AMC’s original series, 'The Walking Dead' delivered the strongest telecast for any drama in basic cable history. The season two premiere delivered 4.8 million Adults 18-49 and 4.2 million Adults 25-54 shattering a basic cable record set nearly 10 years ago for a single drama telecast. The program delivered a 4.8 HH rating netting 7.3 million total viewers. These results represent a 36% and 38% increase respectively over season one’s series average on AMC. Season one’s series average delivered the most A18-49 viewers for a drama in basic cable history.

Key Nielsen Highlights for the season two premiere of The Walking Dead:

- 9pm airing – 4.8 HH rating with 7.3 million viewers a 36%/38% increase respectively over last year’s season average
- 9pm airing – Adults 18-49 delivered 4.8 million viewers; a 36% increase over last year’s season average
- 9pm airing – Adults 25-54 delivered 4.2 million viewers; a 35% increase over last year’s average.
- 9 pm, 10:30pm and 12:30am airings – cumed to 11 million viewers

AMC’s season one of 'The Walking Dead' had a series average of 3.5 million Adults 18-49 making it then the most watched drama series in basic cable history for the demo. The season averaged 5.2 million total viewers.

" The Walking Dead’ is one of those rare television programs that reaches both a core genre fan as well as broad audiences simply looking for a great, character-based story. We’re so proud of and grateful for the amazing team on both sides of the camera who works so hard and is so committed to making this a unique programming event,” said Charlie Collier, AMC’s president. “That ‘The Walking Dead’ is now the most watched drama in the history of basic cable is staggering, just like our zombies.”

Source: Coming Soon