When the opening episode of the second season of AMC’s zombie hit ‘The Walking Dead’ premiered a few months ago, it garnered over 11 million viewers when the encore presentations of the night were taken into consideration.

Last night, ‘The Walking Dead’ returned from its mid-season hiatus with the first new episode in two months. It went up against The Grammys on CBS. The music awards show brought in enough viewers to make last night’s airing the second most watched in the show’s history. But The Grammys didn’t stop zombie aficionados from tuning into ‘The Walking Dead’.

Last night’s episode, ‘Nebraska’ smashed records all across the board. It brought in a total of 8.1 million viewers. The core audience of adults 18-49 hit 5.4 million viewers while adults 25-54 hit 4.4 million. Those age category numbers were the highest ever for a basic cable television series, beating even the shows own amazing season two premiere by 12% and 6%. Counting the two encore presentations, last night’s episode totaled 10.1 million viewers!

Last night’s ‘Walking Dead’ is the fifth most viewed episode in basic cable history. The only shows to top it are the series finale of ‘Monk’ on the USA Network and four episodes of TNT’s ‘The Closer’.

The massive viewership of ‘The Walking Dead’ may have also helped bring in viewers for comic guru Kevin Smith’s new reality series ‘Comic Book Men’ which aired at 10pm just after ‘The Walking Dead’. 2 million viewers stuck around to watch ‘Comic Book Men’.

If you missed the episode, check out our recap of ‘The Walking Dead: Nebraska’.