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'Walking Dead' Season 4 finale draws 15.7 million viewers

Sunday night's Season 4 finale of AMC's "The Walking Dead" walked away with big ratings, but not quite big enough for a series record. 

The episode averaged 15.7 million viewers total, up 27% from the last episode of the third season, according to Nielsen. The episode pulled in 10.2 million viewers in the advertiser-desired 18- to 49-year-old demographic. 

Still, it failed to surpass the season premiere in October, which delivered a whopping 16.1 million viewers, 10.4 million of whom were in the 18-49 category, marking the series' best-ever numbers.

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The 10 p.m. recap show "Talking Dead" scored a series record of 7.3 million viewers Sunday night.

"The Walking Dead" is cable's highest-rated show, and its fourth season has been particularly strong, averaging 13.3 million viewers per episode and 8.6 million adults age 18 to 49. Total viewership is up 24% this season. 

The series has routinely outdrawn its Sunday night broadcast competition and, in the 18-to-49 category, regularly beat prime-time coverage of the Winter Olympics.  

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ryan.faughnder@latimes.com

Twitter: @rfaughnder

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