The Walking Dead Ratings: 12.3 Million Viewers Tune In For Show's Return Opposite Grammys

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Norman Reedus as Daryl Dixon and Michael Rooker as Merle Dixon in 'The Walking Dead' Season 3 -- AMC
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Norman Reedus as Daryl Dixon and Michael Rooker as Merle Dixon in 'The Walking Dead' Season 3 -- AMC

The biggest stars in music may have taken the stage on Sunday night for the Grammys, but it didn't stop fans from watching AMC's "The Walking Dead" in record breaking numbers.

The 9 PM airing of "The Walking Dead," which was the premiere of "TWD's" first episode of 2013 (the beginning of the second half of Season 3), was watched by 12.3 million viewers, the largest audience in the show's history.

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Adding in the numbers from the 11 PM encore airing of the show gave "TWD" a total of 16.6 viewers for Sunday night. By contrast, 28.12 million watched the Grammys.

According to AMC, the numbers made "The Walking Dead" the No. 1 TV show of the season among adults 18-49, bringing in 7.7 million viewers in that age group.

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Addressing the news on Twitter, Steven Yeun, who plays Glenn, a character recovering after being tortured at Woodbury, Tweeted, "Holy. Sh**. Thank you everyone. Much love."

Season 3 showrunner Glen Mazzara wrote, "Thank you, #WalkingDead fans. You are the greatest."

Executive Producer Gale Anne Hurd wrote, "#HugeThanksToTheBestFansInTheWorld!!!"

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There was also big ratings news for "Talking Dead," hosted by Chris Hardwick, which expanded to an hour-long talk show on Sunday night and brought in 4.1 million viewers when it aired at 10 PM.

-- Jolie Lash

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