You can't stop "The Walking Dead," which returned last night to its biggest ratings ever — an incredible 16.1 million viewers and a whopping 8.2 rating among adults 18-49.

Those numbers for the season 4 premiere (which I reviewed here) are up significantly from the season 3 finale, which drew 12.4 million viewers. It also leaves the recent "Breaking Bad" finale numbers (10.3 million viewers) in the dust.

"The Walking Dead" was already the highest-rated show in basic cable history, and last season was the top-rated entertainment show in the 18-49 demo in all of television, trailing only NBC's "Sunday Night Football" for complete demographic supremacy. Last night's premiere would be the third most-watched show in all of TV over the past week, trailing only "NCIS," "The Big Bang Theory" and (depending on the final numbers, which aren't in yet) the Cowboys-Redskins game it aired directly opposite.

AMC already has a "Walking Dead" spin-off in the works. After these numbers, don't be surprised if the network quickly begins work on a second spin-off.

Alan-sepinwall-med
Alan Sepinwall has been reviewing television since the mid-'90s, first for Tony Soprano's hometown paper, The Star-Ledger, and now for HitFix. His new book, "The Revolution Was Televised," about the last 15 years of TV drama, is for sale at Amazon. He can be reached at sepinwall@hitfix.com