"Walking Dead" A Ratings Smash

With its bleak subject matter, gory violence and cult following, AMC's adaptation of Robert Kirkman, Tony Moore and Charlie Adlard's Image comic "The Walking Dead" wasn't guaranteed to be a ratings success out the gate with its Halloween premier. But as it turns out, on top of the waves of faithful comic fans tuning in, plenty of homes across America turned on to see Andrew Linclon's portrayal of sheriff Rick Grimes in the zombie epic.

The Hollywood Reporter has word up that "Days Gone By" - the pilot episode of the series - gained 5.3 million viewers last night, 3.6 million of which were adults aged 18-49, the advertiser attention getting sweet spot.

Not only was the Frank Darabont-directed, Gale Anne Hurd-produced show the big hit in its time slot. The series' numbers also proved the biggest in AMC's history and the biggest premiere on a cable network this year.

"It's a good day to be dead. We are so proud of this series, its depth of storytelling and the remarkable talent attached," Charlie Collier, AMC's president told the trade. "As the network dedicated to bringing viewers the best stories on television, we are so pleased to have the opportunity with 'The Walking Dead' to raise the bar within this popular genre and continue our commitment to being the home of premium television on basic cable."

For more on the ratings, check out the Hollywood Reporter, and for more "The Walking Dead" top to bottom, see CBR's coverage index at the bottom of the page and Spinoff Online for more news.

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