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The Walking Dead smashes cable records for third season launch

+++UPDATE+++UPDATE+++UPDATE+++UPDATE+++UPDATE+++UPDATE February 12, 2013:Ratings for new season break records

Zombie apocalypse series The Walking Dead smashed basic cable records with the launch of its third season, recording up to 15 million viewers on the night.

The series, which launched on Sunday 14th on AMC, outdelivered cable and broadcast hits including Hatfield & McCoys, Jersey Shore, Modern Family, The Big Bang Theory and The Voice.

It recorded 10.9 million viewers for its 9pm launch, a 50% increase on its season two launch, with 15.2 million viewers including repeats. This came despite the channel not being available on satellite service Dish after a long battle between the two companies.

“Thank you again, everyone who watched The Walking Dead on AMC last night. Hope to see you again next week,” tweeted showrunner Glen Mazzara. “So exciting. But now… back to [episode 314].”

The stars and the producers of the series were at MIPCOM last week to talk about the global rollout of The Walking Dead.

Sarah Wayne Callies, who plays Lori Grimes, told TBI: “When I read it, I wasn’t reading a TV pilot. I was reading a movie. The zombies are what initially garnered us support from the fans. But to me it was a human story.”

“In the world of The Walking Dead, this is really happening. We’re not waking up with the audience; this is dead real,” added executive producer Gale Anne Hurd.

Meanwhile, the series will launch on Fox International Channels around the world this week.

“Why launch a show on a global level and treat it like a theatrical release when TV is a local business?” asked FIC’s Sharon Tal Yguado. “Why not capitalise on these global conversations and make them truly global?”