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AMC’s ‘The Walking Dead’ Premieres Score 8.3 Million Viewers For All Showings

No matter how awesome you thought your Halloween was last night, it’s probably safe to say that Robert Kirkman, Charlie Adlard, Tony Moore and the folks at AMC had a better time – like, 8.3 million times better. The Hollywood Reporter, iFanboy and Kirkman’s own Twitter feed report that the initial three The Walking Dead showings caught the eyes of more than 8.3 million combined viewers.The initial premiere’s ratings make up the bulk of the 8.3 million figure, totaling 5.3 million total viewers (3.6 million viewers in the 18-49 demographic), making the episode the biggest debut on cable TV in 2010 and the biggest debut in AMC history for an original series.

What’s more, a substantial chunk of those viewers apparently liked what they saw. Review aggregator Metacritic, which aggregates the input of both critics and views, currently ranks the show at an 85 with a 9.2 user score, meaning a lot of the folks who tuned in this past weekend could likely return for more when episode two shambles onto screens next week.

AMC offered supportive quotes from several of its executives in a press release about the ratings:

“It’s a good day to be dead. We are so proud of this series, its depth of storytelling and the remarkable talent attached,” said Charlie Collier, AMC’s president. “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.”

“‘The Walking Dead’ is that rare piece of programming that works on so many levels. It is legitimately great storytelling that is not only highly entertaining, but incredibly thought provoking as well. People who are familiar with the comic books know what’s coming, but suffice it to say, this is only the beginning of a long, intense, and powerful ride. Long live ‘The Walking Dead’,” said Joel Stillerman, AMC’s SVP of original programming, production and digital content.

AMC’s first wholly-owned original production, “The Walking Dead” premiered globally on October 31 through an unprecedented partnership with AMC and Fox International Channels. Similar to a theatrical film release, all Fox International Channels are launching the premiere episode this week, resulting in the series’ debuting in 120 countries and in 33 languages.

Now to wait and see if these impressive numbers translate into comic book sales…

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