It's little surprise that "The Walking Dead" beat its previous ratings record, yet again.
What was a surprise was that it beat out the end of the five-part mini-series "The Bible" on Easter Sunday. The finale, which showed Jesus during a bloodied crucifixion had 11.7 million viewers.
Earlier, the History series premiered with higher ratings of 13.1 million.
As for "Game of Thrones," the season three premiere drew 4.4 million viewers. Despite what seems like a low number, the audience was actually up 13 percent from last year and is a record high for the series.
Here's a look at all of the previous season premieres and finales of "The Walking Dead":
No one else comes close to the record ratings of AMC's hit zombie series.
During the 9:00 hour — when "The Walking Dead," "Game of Thrones," and "The Bible" were all on — no other network channel had 10 million viewers.
|CBS||"The Amazing Race/The Good Wife"||8.8 million|
|NBC||"The Voice"||5.3 million|
|FOX||"Family Guy"||3 million|
The only series that came seriously close to beating out "The Walking Dead" were CBS' combination of "60 Minutes" and "The Amazing Race" during the 8 o'clock hour when 10.5 million people tuned in.
How does AMC get so many people to tune in live to the series?
AMC is huge on social media integration.
Not only do cast members, including Norman Reedus and now departed Michael Rooker, tweet out before, during, and after the series, but the show almost always has at least one trending topic on Twitter for the evening.
Right after the show is over, AMC airs "The Talking Dead," a one-hour series discussing and dissecting the action that just occurred on the episode. Hosted by Chris Hardwick, series producers and actors often join in on the show, and viewers at home are encouraged to call in with questions or submit them via Facebook or Twitter.
During the show, AMC also delivers a second screen story sync option offering playbacks at moments on the show that just happened, popular screen captures from the show, trivia questions, and polls for fans.
Though "The Walking Dead" numbers may seem gigantic now, ABC favorite "Lost" garnered 13.5 million viewers during its series finale in 2010.
"The Walking Dead," of course, has a way to go before a series finale.
Season four will begin in October.
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