Surging to record high ratings in the first two episodes of its second season, AMC's "The Walking Dead" just earned itself a third campaign.
Through the first two suspense-packed episodes of season two, AMC noted in its renewal announcement that the zombie-apocalypse drama has broken cable ratings records in the 18-49 demo.
Despite the turmoil that came with Glen Mazzara replacing Frank Darabont as show runner, hordes of viewers have tuned in to see the fate of sheriff's deputy Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) and his band of surviviors.
The Oct. 16 season premiere broke a basic cable record set nearly 10 years ago for a single drama telecast ("The Dead Zone"). The 90-minute episode scored a 4.8 household rating, and 7.3 million total viewers.
The 4.8 million viewers in the advertiser-coveted 18-49 demographic represented a 36 percent uptick over last season's average. The 4.2 viewers in the 25-54 demo were up 38 percent.
Here's the full AMC press release:
AMC RENEWS “THE WALKING DEAD”
AMC’S SECOND SEASON CONTINUES TO DELIVER MORE ADULTS 18-49 THAN ANY OTHER BASIC CABLE DRAMA IN TELEVISION HISTORY
FOX INTERNATIONAL CHANNELS (FIC) GLOBAL PREMIERE DELIVERS MORE THAN 10 MILLION LIVE PAY-TV VIEWERS TO BECOME THE MOST SUCCESSFUL BASIC CABLE DRAMA OUTSIDE OF THE US
New York – October 25, 2011 – AMC announced today the renewal of “The Walking Dead” for a third season. Season two continues to deliver the strongest telecasts for any drama in basic cable history against Adults 18-49 shattering a basic cable record set nearly 10 years ago for a single drama telecast (“The Dead Zone”). “The Walking Dead” is based on the comic book series written by Robert Kirkman and published by Image Comics. Glen Mazzara serves as series’ showrunner. Kirkman, Gale Anne Hurd, David Alpert and Frank Darabont are executive producers. Greg Nicotero is a co-executive producer.
"Today we are pleased to announce that the ‘dead’ shall live as we proudly renew ‘The Walking Dead’ for a third season on AMC and, globally, with our terrific partners at Fox International Channels," said Charlie Collier, AMC’s President. “We are thankful for everyone’s contribution in front of and behind the camera as we continue to make ‘The Walking Dead’ a unique television experience. And, we are so proud as it continues to set viewership records around the world.”
FOX International Channels rolled-out its global launch for “The Walking Dead” this weekend, with premieres on FIC’s cable networks in Europe, Asia, Latin American, Africa and the Middle East. The series’ international premieres delivered equally impressive results in all major international TV markets, and broke pay-TV ratings’ records across the world. Over 10 million viewers in 122 countries tuned in live to watch the second season premiere of this highly anticipated returning drama. And, FIC will once again be the international broadcasting partner for the series with Entertainment One continuing to distribute in non-FIC markets.
“Partnering with AMC on ‘The Walking Dead’ took some guts", said Sharon Tal Yguado, SVP of Scripted Programming at FIC. “But at the same time was the easiest programming decision we ever made. It's rare to come across a groundbreaking TV project that is also attached to some of the best talent in town. ‘The Walking Dead’ was treated as a global event since day one and not only changed the traditional TV model but also changed our viewers' TV experience. It is now officially a global addiction with millions of fans around the globe wanting more. We are delighted to give it to them.”
“The Walking Dead” secured a 2010 Golden Globe nomination for Best Television Series – Drama and won the 2011 Emmy Award for Outstanding Prosthetic Makeup. The series tells the story of the months and years that follow after a zombie apocalypse. It follows a group of survivors, led by police officer Rick Grimes, who travel in search of a safe and secure home.
“The Walking Dead” received rave reviews from countless critics, both domestic and international, who heralded the series as “above all else, “The Walking Dead” hasn't lost the most important ingredient in its strangely successful recipe: it’s thrilling” (The Hollywood Reporter), “…with Dead’s riveting cast of characters, the personal dynamics are almost as potent as the gory thrills” (Us Weekly), “The Walking Dead is a feast. Dig in.” (The Guardian, UK), “It doesn’t even take three minutes to realize that this series is setting standards” (Der Tagesspiegel, Germany).