UPDATE 1-"The Walking Dead" mid-season finale helps AMC beat Street

Thu Feb 27, 2014 7:48am EST

Feb 27 (Reuters) - Cable TV network AMC Networks Inc reported a 19 percent jump in quarterly revenue that handily beat Street estimates, helped by the popularity of "The Walking Dead."

The fourth season of "The Walking Dead" was a hit, attracting 12.1 million viewers to its mid-season finale in December. Almost two-thirds of the viewers fell in the 18-49 age bracket, which is much coveted by advertisers.

The show, based on a comic book series by the same name written by Robert Kirkman, also outperformed the winter Olympics on the day of its mid-season premiere in February, according to the Hollywood Reporter. ()

Frank Darabont, who developed "The Walking Dead" and was fired after the first season, filed a lawsuit against AMC in December, claiming he was cheated out of profits.

AMC's net income rose to $35.4 million, or 49 cents per share, in the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31 from $15.2 million, or 21 cents per share, a year earlier.

Revenue rose 18.6 percent to $435.2 million. Advertising revenue jumped 30.9 percent to $205 million.

Analysts on average had expected earnings of 77 cents per share on revenue of $418.9 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

AMC has replaced hit shows such as "Breaking Bad" and "Mad Men" with "Low Winter Sun," a Detroit-set crime drama.

The cable network will air the final season of long-running hit "Mad Men" from April to June. Curtains on "Breaking Bad," about a chemistry teacher who deals in drugs to support his family, went down in September.

AMC shares, which have risen about 5.5 percent since the fourth-season premiere of "The Walking Dead," closed at $69.61 on Wednesday.

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