Comcast Corporation

'The Walking Dead' has a smashing return

It's hard to miss the message from the season premiere of "The Walking Dead": blood pays off.

The gory episode of the popular AMC drama was seen by just over 17 million viewers on Sunday night, the Nielsen company said. That left it short of the 2014 season premiere of 17.3 million for most-watched episode of the series ever, but AMC believes that when additional digital and delayed viewing is added in, this season's opener will be the all-time champ.

When last season's opener drew 14.6 million people, there were whispers that "The Walking Dead" was fading in appeal. But a good, old-fashioned cliffhanger — who did Negan kill? — paid off...