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Ratings roundup: Record-setting audience tunes in to see if The Walking Dead truly left the goddamn farm

Proving the show could truly achieve something if it stopped talking, sliced up some zombies, and left that stupid farm already, The Walking Dead’s third-season première made for the series’ most-watched episode to date. AMC reports that 10.9 million viewers tuned in to make sure the finale of the second season wasn’t some trauma-induced fantasy, the biggest-ever audience for a basic-cable drama—and one that can rest easily knowing that they truly saw Hershel’s barn go up in flames during “Beside The Dying Fire.” The première managed to garner such high numbers despite AMC’s high-profile battle with Dish Network, which dropped AMC from its lineup this past summer. Pity those poor Dish subscribers: For all they know, Rick and company all got bitten by walkers during the hiatus and mindlessly lumbered back to the wretched tract of land that ate up so much of the last season. 

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