You'd have to be one of the flesh-hungry undead not to see this one coming. 


After record ratings for the start of its second season, AMC has announced that its hugely successful zombie series "The Walking Dead" will be returning for a third helping in 2012. The show, based on the much-beloved comic books by Robert Kirkman, follows a band of survivors stuck in a post-apocalyptic world filled with the living dead. 


To say AMC is thrilled with the success of the show is an understatement. Here's a bit from the press release, which proves that zombies are infecting popular culture all over the world. 


"Season two continues to deliver the strongest telecasts for any drama in basic cable history against Adults 18-49, shattering a basic cable record set nearly 10 years ago for a single drama telecast ("The Dead Zone") ... FOX International Channels rolled out its global launch for "The Walking Dead" this weekend, with premieres on FIC's cable networks in Europe, Asia, Latin American, Africa and the Middle East. The series' international premieres delivered equally impressive results in all major international TV markets, and broke pay-TV ratings' records across the world. Over 10 million viewers in 122 countries tuned in live to watch the second season premiere of this highly anticipated returning drama."

Maybe it's our fascination with end-of-the-world scenarios — or simply the need to tune in for a good scare this time of year. Whatever the appeal, you can bet that studio execs are paying attention. Last week, Fox announced that it was developing in partnership with Sony Pictures a half-hour comedy based on the 2009 film "Zombieland."


"We always thought [it should be a TV series]," film co-writer Rhett Reese previously told MTV News. "We have the 'Zombie Kill of the Week,' which was intended to happen every week."


Inevitably, Hollywood will likely mess with the genre so much that we'll be wishing for vampires again. For "The Walking Dead" at least, let's just enjoy that the series is far from the grave — and likely to become a part of Halloween fun for years to come. 

Michael d'Estries ( @michaeldestries ) covers science, technology, art, and the beautiful, unusual corners of our incredible world.

'The Walking Dead' renewed for third season
Zombie series eats up the competition with strong ratings and large international audience.