AMC's zombie smash "Walking Dead" went out with a bang on Sunday (Dec. 5) night, narratively and audience-wise.
 
Leaving aside the narrative bang -- some people haven't watched the episode yet -- "The Walking Dead" drew more than 6 million total viewers in its first 10 p.m. airing, rising to 8.1 million viewers with the addition of 11 p.m. and 1 a.m. encores.
 
In its first airing, "The Walking Dead" pulled in 4 million viewers in the key 18-49 demo, ranking first in that demo among basic cable for a drama series. For its truncated six-episode first season, "The Walking Dead" averaged 3.5 million viewers in the 18-49 demo, making it the most watched drama series in basic cable history for the demo.
 
"The Walking Dead" is far-and-away the most successful original series in AMC's history and has already been renewed for a second season. The 13-episode second season of "The Walking Dead" isn't expected to premiere until next fall.