Following AMC’s most expansive promotional campaign, the cable network’s new drama The Walking Dead launched with more that 5.3 total million viewers last night, the largest audience for an original series on AMC. In adults 18-49, Walking Dead garnered 3.6 million viewers to become the highest-rated cable series premiere in 2010. In addition to the original 10 PM airing, AMC reran the Walking Dead pilot at 11:30 PM and 1 AM for a cumulative audience of 8.1 million viewers. “It’s a good day to be dead,” said AMC president Charlie Collier “We are so proud of this series, its depth of storytelling and the remarkable talent attached.”

Based on Robert Kirkman’s comic book series, The Walking Dead was written and directed by Frank Darabont who is executive producing with Kirkman, Gale Anne Hurd and David Alpert. Also joining the series as an executive producer is Charles “Chic” Eglee (Dexter).