'Walking Dead' becomes the first cable series to top fall TV ratings

Michonne (Danai Gurira), second from left, and Andrea (Laurie Holden), right, battle zombies in "The Walking Dead."

Photo by Gene Page/AMC

Michonne (Danai Gurira), second from left, and Andrea (Laurie Holden), right, battle zombies in "The Walking Dead."

NEW YORK - Those zombies in "The Walking Dead" have already terrorized the good people of Atlanta. Now they're gobbling down the ratings record books too.

AMC's zombie smash has become the first cable series to win the fall TV ratings in the key demographic of adults ages 18 to 49, according to Nielsen.

That includes established network series such as "Modern Family," "The Voice" and "The Big Bang Theory," as well as the new fall shows like "Elementary" and "Revolution."

What kind of power does "Dead" have? Well, Sunday's "mid-season finale" — the show will return in February — drew 10.5 million viewers. Throw in a couple of encores, and the total rose to 15.2 million.

Season 3 also has been averaging an additional 3.4 million viewers who watch later in the week and are included in the DVR numbers.

"The records that 'The Walking Dead' shattered today represent an enormous achievement of which we are so proud," said Charlie Collier, AMC's president.

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