'Walking Dead' finale breaks series records

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The Walking Dead has done it again.

The third season finale of the AMC zombie hit delivered another series-high rating Sunday night — despite the Easter holiday (when TV viewership tends to dip) and despite airing head-to-head against the premiere of another geek-titan series (HBO’s Game of Thrones — which also set a series record last night).

The finale was seen by 12.4 million viewers, just barely edging out the show’s previous record viewership of 12.3 million from its February mid-season premiere. The show also had 8.1 million adults 18-49, making it the week’s top program. This is close to yesterday’s ratings prediction and continues the show’s trend of setting new records for each of its season finales.

The Walking Dead has been a ratings phenomenon this season, averaging a 5.6 rating among adults 18-49 — higher than any other show on television.

Also, AMC indulged in a bit of smack-talk against Thrones. AMC pointed out that its post-Walking Dead talk show The Talking Dead with Chris Hardwick delivered more viewers (5.2 million) than the first telecast of the Thrones premiere.

“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.” EW’s recap is here.

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