After two strong weeks in the ratings, The Hollywood Reporter and Deadline.com reported Monday afternoon that AMC has officially renewed The Walking Dead for a 13-episode second season.
The news shouldn't come as a surprise: according to the network's press release, the Oct. 31 season premiere of the adaptation of the Image Comics series attracted the largest audience for an original series in AMC history with 5.3 million total viewers, and this past Sunday night's season episode held strong with 4.7 million.
The first season of six episodes is scheduled to wrap on Dec. 5. Thirteen episodes is the standard length for AMC original series such as Mad Men and Breaking Bad. AMC's senior vice president of scripted programming Sharon Tal Yguado is quoted in the release as saying, "I wish all programming decisions were no brainers like this one." (Possible zombie pun?)
The Walking Dead was developed for television by Hollywood veteran Frank Darabont, with comic book series creator Robert Kirkman serving as executive producer and writer of the fourth episode. All of Newsarama's Walking Dead coverage can be found here.