The Walking Dead has once again proven to be a gold mine for AMC, leaving the network no option but to announce that the zombie apocalypse drama will be return for a fifth season!

It’s pretty crazy for a series to get renewed after just three episodes of the current season, but The Walking Dead has been pulling in some huge numbers for AMC, proving that America isn’t bored with Team Prison just yet.

Ratings for Season 4 of the hit drama have been stellar, though they haven’t been able to reach the height that the premiere had. The Season 4 premiere brought in a record-breaking 16.1 million live viewers (20.2 million if you include three days of DVR viewing), and has fallen to 13.9 million and 12.9 million viewers in the subsequent weeks.

AMC president Charlie Collier announced the amazing news on Tuesday, October 29, calling it “one of the most anti-climactic renewal announcements ever.”

“This is a show that has erased traditional distinctions between cable and broadcast,” Charlie said. “It’s expanding base of passionate fans has grown every season, most recently — and most notably — with the Season 4 premiere earlier this month, which broke viewership records for the series and became the biggest non-sports telecast in cable history. On behalf of the incredible team on both sides of the camera, thank you to the fans and here’s to more Dead.”

Thanks to new showrunner Scott Gimple (who will return next year as well), there’s been a deadly flu twist this season, which has irrefutably breathed life into the series, keeping it from growing stale. There are only so many times we can keep running from the undead, right?

As with today's Season 5 renewal announcement, Season 4 was no surprise, either — by that point, the show was already dominating in ratings. The Season 3 premiere had 10.9 million viewers, which climbed to 12.3 million by the mid-season premiere! Even in Season 2, the premiere took in 7.3 million viewers — so while Season 3 wasn't as much of a no-brainer as Season 4 or 5, the show has continued to prove itself indispensable.

Of course, the changing TWD seasons haven't been without their drama! Showrunner Frank Darabont exited the show at the end of Season 1; his successor Glen Mazzara followed suit at the end of Season 3. Thankfully, the transitions between showrunners have been smooth, letting TWD continue to break its own records in ratings.

Naturally, TWD cast and crew are just as excited as we are about the show's renewal. Fan favorite Norman Reedus (Daryl Dixon) was among the first to react! Right after news broke, he tweeted a thank you to fans with a photo of one of the more intense moments of Season 4 so far.

Executive Producer Gale Anne Hurd's reaction to the news was short and sweet: "#Love&ThanksToOurAwesomeFans!"

Are you excited about Season 5 of The Walking Dead? Hit the comments and let us know!

Carson Blackwelder is an Associate Editor at Wetpaint Entertainment. Follow him on Twitter and Google+!