AMC's drama The Walking Dead returned Sunday after a short hiatus to draw 8.1 million viewers and cable record viewership within key demos.
The mid-season premiere episode of the sophomore, zombie-themed series set a cable record with 5.4 million adults 18-49 and 4.4 million adults 25-54, besting the series' Oct. 16 season two premiere by 12% and 6% respectively, according to AMC executives.
Including an 11 p.m. repeat airing, the series delivered 10.1 million viewers for the evening, according to the network.
Following The Walking Dead, the network's new reality series Comic Book Men drew 2 million viewers in its premiere episode, said AMC officials.
"It is a great night for AMC. We're thrilled to see this incredible record breaking response to The Walking Dead, and Comic Book Men is off to a strong start as well," said Charlie Collier, AMC president in a statement. "Congratulations to the teams behind both of these shows."