AMC has renewed "The Walking Dead" for a fifth season, in a move so obvious that AMC's president Charlie Collier called it "one of the most anti-climactic renewal announcements ever."

The zombie drama is the highest-rated show on television — not just cable, all of television — among adults 18-49. Over its first three days of airing, the fourth season premiere averaged 20.2 million viewers overall, what would have once been an insane figure for a cable series. There was no way it wasn't coming back for another season — many more seasons, really — but the official decision wasn't made until today.

As of now, the plan is for a rare bit of showrunning continuity, as the announcement also said that Scott Gimple (who replaced Glen Mazzara, who replaced Frank Darabont) will continue in that role for the fifth season. Robert Kirkman, who created "The Walking Dead" comics and is a writer/producer on the series, is also working to develop a spin-off series.

There are five more episodes remaining in this half of season 4 (here's my review of the latest, and best, episode of the season so far), before the show takes its usual two-month break and returns in February. UPDATE: As for the season 5 episode order, AMC hasn't decided yet. Given the ratings, I wouldn't be surprised if they tried to make more.