The Walking Dead premiered on October 31, 2010, on the cable television channel AMC in the United States. It premiered internationally during the first week of November 2010 on Fox International Channels. Based on its reception, AMC renewed the series for a second season of 13 episodes, which premiered on October 16, 2011. Two episodes into the second season, AMC announced that the show would return for a third season of 16 episodes, which began airing on October 14, 2012. On December 21, 2012, AMC renewed The Walking Dead for a fourth season of 16 episodes.
The series has been well received and has received many award nominations including ones for the Writers Guild of America Award and a Golden Globe Award for Best Television Series (Drama). The series has also attained strong Nielsen ratings, surpassing various records for a cable series, including receiving 12.4 million viewers for its season three finale to become the most-watched drama series telecast in basic cable history.