'Walking Dead' midseason premiere ratings devour the competition

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walking-dead-laurie-holden-midseason-premiere-suicide-king-season-3-amc.jpg"The Walking Dead" continued its record-breaking ratings run by hitting a new series high of 12.3 million viewers for last night's Season 3 midseason premiere episode, "The Suicide King."

That tops the horror hit's previous high of 10.9 million viewers for the Season 3 premiere and came opposite a big night for the Grammys (which drew 28.37 million viewers on CBS).

"The Walking Dead" delivered 7.7 million adults 18-49, the best ever for a basic cable TV series and keeps the series at the head of the pack in adults 18-49 among all TV shows -- broadcast and cable -- this season.

Including three subsequent encore airings, the total "Walking Dead" audience for the midseason premiere was 16.6 million viewers. The most watched show on broadcast TV last night besides the Grammys was CBS' "60 Minutes" with 11.1 million viewers.

Additionally, the one-hour premiere of "Talking Dead" delivered 4.1 million viewers, including 2.7 million adults 18-49. That's a dramatic increase of 371% and 396% from last year's midseason "Talking Dead" premiere.

"When you look at numbers like this, the first thing that comes to mind is how grateful we are to the fans of this show.  They embrace 'The Walking Dead' in a way that we wanted to believe was possible but we never take for granted," AMC president Charlie Collier said in a statement.

"The Walking Dead" will face another major event in two weeks when it airs opposite the Academy Awards on Feb. 24.
Photo/Video credit: AMC