The Walking Dead, Melissa McBride, Chandler Riggs

Gene Page/AMC

The Walking Dead is more alive than ever!

AMC's zombie hit series' third season returned in spectacular fashion, bringing in series-high ratings.

The midseason premiere attracted 12.3 million viewers and a 6.1 rating in the adults 18-49 demographic. Take that, Grammys!

"When you look at numbers like this, the first thing that comes to mind is how grateful we are to the fans of this show. They embrace The Walking Dead in a way that we wanted to believe was possible but we never take for granted," Charlie Collier, AMC's president, said in statement. "The cast and crew put everything they have into making this show. They're a phenomenally talented group who truly give their all. We congratulate everyone involved."

The show's previous record was 10.9 million viewers from the season three premiere. Even more impressive is that the midseason premiere airing is the strongest telecast for a series in basic cable history for adults 18-49 with 7.7 million.

If you include the encore telecast, The Walking Dead's viewership bumps up to 16.6 million.

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