America's appetite for brains, or at least our appetite for watching the living dead and their appetite for brains, remains unabated.

AMC's "The Walking Dead" returned on Sunday (October 12) night and set new highs for both the series and, by logical extension, for the network.

The fifth season premiere for "Walking Dead" drew 17.3 million viewers, including 11 million viewers in the 18-49 demographic. That was up 7 percent and 6 percent respectively from last October's premiere, which represented the previous high.

As you would guess if you looked at this morning's network TV rating, that made "Walking Dead" Sunday's top show in the 18-49 demographic, topping Sunday Night football by 2.5 million viewers in that age range.

AMC brass had their usual pun-heavy reaction to the good news.

"It’s a Dead man’s party. Who could ask for more?" blurbs Charlie Collier, AMC president. "Enormous thanks to our friends and executive producers Robert Kirkman, Scott Gimple, Greg Nicotero – who also directed last night’s terrific premiere – Gale Anne Hurd, Dave Alpert and Tom Luse and all of their fellow producers, cast and crew for everything they do to make the #1 show on television such a unique and incredible experience for the fans. ‘The Walking Dead’ is one of those increasingly rare shows today that can command a live audience not significantly cannibalized by time-shifted viewing. Who would have thought that cannibalized television could be curtailed by cannibal-ized television?"

Yes, AMC's president quoted Oingo Boingo in his official network statement. 

Kudos, sir. Kudos.

Not surprisingly, "Walking Dead" led into a strong airing for "Talking Dead," as the after-show drew 6.9 million viewers, including 4.5 million in the 18-49 demo, which represented the highest rated premiere in "Talking Dead" history.

And AMC is also giddy about social media action for "The Walking Dead," claiming it generated 1,320,056 Tweets and 32.1 million Facebook interactions. Presumably, that's a lot.

"The Walking Dead" was already renewed last week, so there's nothing new to add there.

In honor of Charlie Collier, I leave you with the music of Mr. Danny Elfman and company.

A long-time member of the TCA Board and a longer-time blogger of "American Idol," Dan Fienberg writes about TV, except for when he writes about movies or sometimes writes about the Red Sox. But never music. He would sound stupid talking about music.