TVLine Items: The Walking Dead Smashes Ratings Records, GH Murder Mystery Scoop and More!

The Walking Dead Season 2 premiere drew huge mobs of living, breathing Nielsen viewers on Sunday night, shattering a few records along the way.

The AMC series was welcomed back by 7.3 million total viewers in its 9 pm airing — a 38 percent surge over the show’s Season 1 average — with 4.8 million of ’em falling into the coveted 18-49 crowd. That breaks a demo rating record for basic cable set nearly 10 years ago, AMC reports.

Walking Dead‘s delivery of 4.2 million viewers in the 25-54 demo likewise represents a new high for a basic cable series.

The Walking Dead is one of those rare television programs that reaches both a core genre fan as well as broad audiences simply looking for a great, character-based story,” AMC president Charlie Collier said in announcing the boffo ratings. “That The Walking Dead is now the most watched drama in the history of basic cable is staggering, just like our zombies.”

Factoring in the 10:30 pm and 12:30 am encores, Walking Dead amassed 11 million total viewers with its sophomore bow.

Sarah Wayne Callies: The Walking Dead Season 2 ‘Somehow Makes Last Year Look Tame!’

Ready for more of today’s TV dish? Well…

Spoiler Alert! ABC’s General Hospital is gearing up for a lengthy murder mystery. The victim: recently revived wackadoo doc Lisa Niles (Brianna Brown). Executive producer Jill Farren Phelps tells TV Guide Magazine that everyone “ends up having the motive, the means and the opportunity to kill” — including Patrick and Robin, of course. Unfortunately viewers won’t find out who offed the big bad until — gasp! — February.

Donal Logue has joined the cast of TNT’s upcoming 1880s adventure series pilot Gateway, per Deadline. The Terriers alum will play Auggie, the drinking buddy of Cam Gigandet’s leading man, Jake.

• Dirty Sexy Money star Bellamy Young will guest-star on CBS’ Criminal Minds as a museum curator who meets Hotch in the park while he’s training for triathalon, EW.com reports.

Criminal Minds Duo Shoot Down Hotch/Prentiss Romance Buzz: ‘It’s a Hard Line to Ride’

Marlon Wayans (Scary Movie) is set to write, executive produce and star in a sibling-buddy cop comedy project for ABC, per Deadline.

Shonda Rhimes has sold a 1980s New Jersey-based dramedy project, titled Wildwood, to Fox, Deadline reports. The Ex List‘s Diane Ruggiero is on board to write the pilot.

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