‘The Walking Dead’ Renewed for Season 5

AMC gives new life to its hit zombie drama

AMC has renewed its hit zombie drama “The Walking Dead” for a fifth season.

The series has been a ratings bonanza for the network, returning for its fourth season premiere earlier this month with 20.2 million total viewers in Live + 3 Day ratings. Among those viewers, 13.2 million were in the advertiser-cherished 18-49 demographic.

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AMC president Charlie Collier acknowledged that the renewal was a no-brainer.

“We are very happy to make what has to be one of the most anti-climactic renewal announcements ever:  ‘The Walking Dead’ is renewed for a fifth season,” Collier said in a statement. “This is a show that has erased traditional distinctions between cable and broadcast. Its expanding base of passionate fans has grown every season, most recently – and most notably – with the season four premiere earlier this month, which broke viewership records for the series and became the biggest non-sports telecast in cable history.”

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The series, which has seen its share of showrunner shakeups, will continue with Scott Gimple, who came aboard earlier this year, for the fifth season.

AMC is also developing a “Walking Dead” companion series, to be executive produced by “Dead” crew Robert Kirkman, Gale Anne Hurd and David Alpert, which is expected to premiere in 2015.