AMC’s midseason premiere of The Walking Dead in the U.S. returned with its largest audience ever in series history, delivering 12.3 million viewers at the 9/8c premiere. The previous record was 10.9 million viewers from the Season 3 premiere on October 14, 2012. According to the network, the episode is also the strongest telecast for a series in basic cable history for adults 18-49 with 7.7 million. These results have surpassed the hit series’ previous record with an increase of 6% (A18-49) over the Oct. 14, 2012 Season 3 premiere.

The Walking Dead Season 3 series average for adults 18-49 is 6.8 million, surpassing other television series season averages including Modern Family, The Big Bang Theory, Two and A Half Men, and NCIS. In addition to the 9/8c premiere, the show encored at 11/10c and 2AM/1c, delivering 16.6 million viewers for the night.

Following the 9/8c premiere of The Walking Dead, AMC premiered a new episode of Talking Dead at 10/9c. 4.1 million viewers tuned in to the live show. Hosted by Chris Hardwick, Talking Dead is a companion series to The Walking Dead and features Hardwick and fans, actors, producers and other TV enthusiasts discussing and dissecting that night’s Dead premiere. The series expanded to a full hour for the final eight episodes of Season 3.