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AMC renews ‘The Walking Dead’ for a sixth season, greenlights new spinoff series

AMC Networks announced today that it has renewed its wildly successful series The Walking Dead for a sixth season. The news comes just days before the October 12 premiere for the show’s fifth season.

Related: Getting gory with the FX mastermind behind The Walking Dead

Although AMC has consistently managed to crank out a fine catalog of compelling television over the past years, Breaking Bad‘s wrap-up last year and Mad Men‘s quickly approaching finale likely have the network in red alert mode in terms of keeping its undeniable momentum from dwindling. And perhaps one of the best and most logical ways for AMC to keep the flame alive is to continue strategically milking one of the most — if not the most — profitable cash cows on its roster.

The Walking Dead has been the number-one show on television for adults aged 18-49 for the past two years. Back in March, the show concluded its fourth season in style when the last episode netted a stunning grand total of 15.7 million viewers, significantly more than the 12.4 million viewers who tuned in for the Season 3 finale.

Perhaps The Walking Dead‘s most impressive feat, however, came when the show broke cable TV records with its Season 4 premiere’s 16.1 million viewers (10.4 million of which were of the coveted adults 18-49 demographic), according to Variety.

In other Dead news, AMC recently greenlit a new companion series to the show that will be set in the same zombie-ridden, apocalyptic universe as the flagship series. The spinoff will feature a new cast of original characters (dreamed up by the comic book series’ creator Robert Kirkman, himself) in a completely different set of locations.

Below is a look ahead at what’s to come in the highly anticipated fifth season of The Walking Dead.