The Walking Dead season three premiere recorded an all-time high for US cable channel AMC on Sunday night - pulling in 10.9 million viewers.
The zombie drama also managed to outperform all cable and even terrestrial launches in the new US Autumn season, including big-hitters The Big Bang Theory, Modern Family and The Voice.
The Walking Dead's huge figures represent US cable's highest-ever rating for a drama series in US TV history.
Charlie Collier, president of AMC, said in a statement: "Thank you to the fans for making The Walking Dead such a tremendous success. We are honoured and humbled that television's largest adult audience resides on AMC.
"So many people on both sides of the camera worked tirelessly on this project, and I thank and congratulate each of them for their amazing contribution."
The Walking Dead season three debuts next Friday (October 19) on UK satellite channel FX.