Andrew Lincoln

AMC's new zombie drama The Walking Dead debuted to 5.3 million viewers, the largest audience for any original series on the network.

"It's a good day to be dead," said AMC President Charlie Collier. "We are so proud of this series, its depth of storytelling and the remarkable talent attached."

The Walking Dead: A zombie show with more heart than brains

The Walking Dead also garnered a 3.7 household rating, and scored 3.6 million viewers in the 18-to-49 demographic, the highest for any cable series premiere this year.

Based on the Robert Kirkman comics of the same name, The Walking Dead stars Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes, a policeman who awakes in the hospital to find the world overrun by zombies. Grimes sets off in search for his wife (Sarah Wayne Callies) and son. The series is executive-produced by Kirkman and Frank Darabont (The Shawshank Redemption).