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Last night’s premiere of The Walking Dead set a ratings record for AMC, attracting 5.3 million viewers and 3.6 million adults 18-49, The Live Feed reports. That’s the largest demo audience for any series premiere this year on any cable network.
AMC’s previous premiere record was set in August by Rubicon, which drew 2 million viewers.
In addition to the 10 p.m. original broadcast, the network reran the 90-minute pilot, “Days Gone Bye,” at 11:30 p.m. and 1 a.m. for a combined audience of 8.1 million viewers.
“It’s a good day to be dead. We are so proud of this series, its depth of storytelling and the remarkable talent attached,” Charlie Collier, AMC’s president and general manager, said in a statement. “As the network dedicated to bringing viewers the best stories on television, we are so pleased to have the opportunity with The Walking Dead to raise the bar within this popular genre and continue our commitment to being the home of premium television on basic cable.”
AMC also released a preview clip from the second episode, titled “Guts.” Directed by Michelle Maxwell MacLaren (Breaking Bad) from a screenplay by Frank Darabont, it finds Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) unknowingly causing a group of survivors to be trapped by Walkers: “The group dynamic devolves from accusations to violence, as Rick must confront an enemy far more dangerous than the undead.”
“Guts” airs Sunday at 10 p.m. PST/EST on AMC.