03/04/2013 05:43 pm ET

'The Bible' Ratings Set Cable Records, 'Vikings' Premieres Strong For History Channel

History Channel's "The Bible" was an epic ratings hit Sunday night.

"The Bible" miniseries debuted to 13.1 million viewers in its 8-10 p.m. premiere, making it the most-watched cable entertainment telecast of the year, according to press release from the network. It even beat out AMC's zombie hit "The Walking Dead," although "TWD" scored a 6.6 in the adults 18-49 demo, compared to "The Bible's" 3.3.

“We could not be more thrilled with this out of the gate success of "The Bible" on History,” executive producers Roma Downey and Mark Burnett said in a statement. "The world is watching right now and we are incredibly humbled by the reaction to the series ... Ultimately 'The Bible' will be seen and felt by billions around the globe."

It was a big night on History. The network also debuted its new scripted drama series "Vikings" to solid numbers. The series had 6.2 million viewers in the 10 p.m. hour, and a total of 8.1 million total viewers across two separate airings.

The success of "The Bible" and "Vikings" come on the heels of History's Emmy-winning "Hatfields & McCoys" miniseries, which made an impressive ratings splash in the summer of 2012.

"The Bible" continues Sundays at 8 p.m. ET on History.



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