Last season, The Walking Dead opened and closed its second year with record-setting numbers for a basic-cable drama. Now the season-three numbers are in, and they're enough to make even the broadcast shows quake with fear.
Last night, the third-season premiere, "Seed," racked up 10.9 million viewers and a powerful 5.7 demo rating. When you factor in the encore showings late last night, the episode was seen by more than 15 million people (and that's not even counting the people who recorded it to watch later), a number second only to prime-time football viewership on the night.
If you're wondering how that stacks up with last year, it's about a 50 percent increase in viewers from the kickoff of season two. In terms of ratings, the episode has eclipsed the season-two finale as one of the highest-rated basic-cable dramas in the 18-49 demo ever, surpassing the finale demo score by a full point. We were expecting the show to post gains, but this is just ridiculous.
Though we've still got a few more premieres on the horizon in the coming weeks, The Walking Dead's definitely got our top vote for most impressive debut of the 2012-2013 season so far. They've gotta be having a party over at AMC right now.