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It seems as long as the zombies keep piling up for Rick Grimes and company so too will the ratings for The Walking Dead. The second season premiere of AMC's hit horror series not only beat out its own impressive numbers from last year, but set a new record for cable television. Drawing in 7.3 million viewers in total for it's premiere, with encore airings adding to that number, “What Lies Ahead” also earned the highest ratings in the 18-49 and 25-54 demographics to ever be recorded for cable.
Besting the 2002 premiere of USA's The Deadzone, The Walking Dead brought in 4.8 million viewers in the key 18-49 demo and 4.1 million of the 25-54 year-old crowd. Those numbers put it up 36% in the key demo over the series' first season premiere. AMC President Charlie Collier expressed his joy for the show's incredible commercial success; “That The Walking Dead is now the most-watched drama in the history of basic cable is staggering, just like our zombies.”
AMC's companion piece, The Talking Dead, also had a fair start to its run. The post-episode wrap-up and discussion series hosted by Chris Hardwick kicked off with 1.2 million total viewers for it's premiere following the first encore of “What Lies Ahead.”