The second half of "The Walking Dead's" season three premieres this Sunday - and if past performance is any indication, ratings are once again sure to be spectacular. AMC's zombie drama has scared up records and blown away expectations ever since its first episode aired in 2010. Last December, producers proudly announced that viewers in the coveted 18-49 average had topped, for the first time ever, all other fall series — cable or broadcast.
“The records that The Walking Dead shattered today represent an enormous achievement of which we are so proud," AMC president Charlie Collier said in a statement.
Perhaps no one is more surprised by "Dead's" success than its creator Robert Kirkman. The 34-year-old comic book writer says in an interview with CNN that he had doubts the concept could effectively make the leap from comics to television.
"I'm somewhat of a pessimist," he says. "I never expected this to get made; I never expected the pilot to get picked up; I never expected the episodes to make it to air. I didn't really treat this show like it was happening until it premiered and until the ratings came in. There was a good 24-hour period where I was thinking, "this is not going to last." I think that's relative to its success. There's really nothing like this on television. There's really no comparison. I never thought it would succeed or succeed as well it has. It's all been pretty surprising."
And what about those rumors surrounding the possible development of a "Walking Dead" feature film? Kirkman says while it's always a possibility, there's absolutely nothing on the radar - and besides, he's hoping there's a lot more television drama yet to come.
"I think we'd be incredibly fortunate if we were one of those shows that got to go seven seasons," he tells CNN. "I think that's a good possibility in our future, the way things are going. Hopefully, we'll make it there. At the same time, this is a very unique show. You never know. Personally, if I could wave a magic wand, I'd make it go 20 seasons. This is the kind of story that is exciting to watch these characters grown and change over time."
You can check out a preview of the second half of "The Walking Dead season three below. The series returns this Sunday at 9PM E/T on AMC.