AMC's "The Walking Dead" season 3 finale had the show's biggest audience ever as AMC declared the zombie drama the top-rated scripted show on television this season.
The season finale scored 12.4 million total viewers at 9 p.m. Sunday, more than any broadcast except for NCAA basketball on CBS from 7-8 p.m. ET. "The Walking Dead" also faced heavy competition from the conclusion of History's "The Bible," which had 11.7 million viewers Sunday.
But even on Easter, zombies prevailed over the good book.
AMC said the show's 5.6 average rating for the season in the key 18-49 demographic also made it the top-rated scripted show on television, ahead of CBS' "The Big Bang Theory." But "Big Bang" still has more episodes to air, so the shows are in for a fight.
At 10 p.m., the "Walking Dead" recap show “Talking Dead” had 5.2 million total viewers, beating the season 3 premiere of HBO's "Game of Thrones." It isn't even close to an apples-to-apples comparison, however, since HBO viewers have to pay more to watch.
“Two words: Grateful. Dead. It’s a joy that we get to work with such tremendous talent to make ‘The Walking Dead’ and ‘Talking Dead’ come to life for audiences that continue to engage and grow,” said Charlie Collier, AMC’s president. “In just three seasons, ‘The Walking Dead’ has become a pop-culture phenomenon, entertaining millions of passionate viewers and obliterating traditional lines between cable and broadcast television.”
Though "Walking Dead" handily beat the NCAA in the key demo ratings, basketball scored 17.9 million viewers for CBS from 7 to 7:30, and 13.4 million from 7:30 to 8, when the time period was split between the NCAA and "60 Minutes."