Ultra-violent 'Walking Dead' shatters TV ratings records

Published: Tuesday, Oct. 16 2012 8:38 a.m. MDT

This image released by AMC shows Andrew Lincoln as Sheriff Rick Grimes in a scene from the season three premiere episode of "The Walking Dead."

AMC, Gene Page, Associated Press

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When the third season of "The Walking Dead" debuted Sunday night, the AMC show broke several ratings records.

Per the New York Times' Media Decoder blog: "The season premiere puts 'The Walking Dead' at the top of all dramas in the history of basic cable television. … The show attracted 10.9 million total viewers for its 9 p.m. initial broadcast: That beat every entertainment show on every broadcast network on Sunday night (and) everything else in non-sports programming that has been on television this fall."

E! Online observed that the 10.9 million "Walking Dead" viewers for Sunday's 9 p.m. airing were really only the beginning: "An additional 3.5 million viewers tuned in for the encore at 10 p.m., and another 850,000 watched at midnight, bringing the premiere's overall haul to 15.2 million for the night."

"The Walking Dead" is so popular right now, in fact, that devotees of the show released a YouTube parody video Monday called "The Walking Dead — The Musical" in which zombies dance and sing.

But before planning a "Walking Dead" viewing party for Sunday night, consider this: The show is nothing if not exceptionally violent. To that end, the nonprofit family-media website Common Sense Media noted, "Parents need to know that this horror-drama hybrid contains vividly violent action sequences involving blood, guns and half-eaten corpses, among other stomach-turning visuals. There's also some unbleeped swearing, but those words are rare."

Jamshid Ghazi Askar is a graduate of BYU's J. Reuben Clark Law School and member of the Utah State Bar. Contact him at jaskar@desnews.com or 801-236-6051.

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