Last night’s premiere of The Walking Dead scored record-high numbers, not just in lines of dialogue that were almost entirely comprised of bitter sniping, but also in viewers. With 7.3 million total viewers (11 million if you factor in the encore)—and 4.8 million of those in the 18-49 demographic, a.k.a the only people who are not lurching zombies themselves—the show easily bested its first-season premiere ratings of 5.3 million, and shattered the previous record set for a basic cable drama, the 2002 premiere of USA’s The Dead Zone. People like dead things. Its strong showing even boosted the premiere of the new Chris Hardwick-hosted chat show Talking Dead, which pulled in a respectable-for-its-timeslot 1.2 million viewers. Obviously glad to be issuing comments that don’t have to do with contract stalemates, people getting fired, rage-inducing finales, or money problems, AMC president Charlie Collier said in a statement, “That The Walking Dead is now the most-watched drama in the history of basic cable is staggering, just like our zombies.” He did not add, “And like zombies, you all can eat me,” but that’s probably implied.
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