'The Walking Dead' Takes a (Much-Needed)

The finales draw a larger audience than any Sunday entertainment series on the Big Four

It was a whopper of a night for cable on Sunday as AMC’s “The Walking Dead” broke more records with its third-season finale, and History capped its miniseries “The Bible” with boffo numbers of its own.

Combined in the 9 o’clock hour, the two finales drew about 24.5 million viewers, according to Nielsen, topping all entertainment telecasts on the Big Four.

“The Walking Dead” averaged a 6.4 national rating in adults 18-49 (8.1 million adults 18-49), up from the 6.1 that the show garnered for its winter return on Feb. 10 and up about 35% from its second-season finale a year ago (4.7).

That makes it the highest rating for any regularly scheduled entertainment telecast this season — topping the previous high set by the Feb. 7 episode of CBS comedy “The Big Bang Theory” (6.2).

In total viewers, “The Walking Dead” averaged 12.4 million, up slightly from the 12.3 million it drew for the second-half return of its second season on Feb. 10.

After the “Walking Dead” finale, post-show recap series “The Talking Dead” drew a record 5.2 million viewers for AMC, including 3.3 million adults 18-49. Its projected 18-49 rating of 2.6 easily beat ABC, CBS and NBC in the 10 p.m. hour.

Over at History, “The Bible” drew 11.7 million viewers from 8 to 10 p.m. and edged out “Walking Dead” head-to-head in the 9 o’clock hour (12.32 million to 12.29 million), when the miniseries focused on The Resurrection. This is down from the event’s premiere on March 3 (13.1 million) but up nearly 15% from the mini’s penultimate airing a week ago.

In key demos, “The Bible” averaged a 3.0 rating in adults 18-49 (3.8 million viewers) and a 3.9 rating in adults 25-54 (4.6 million)

In large part due to “The Bible,” History is poised to stand as March’s top-rated cable network in adults 25-54, men 25-54 and total viewers.

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