[UPDATE: The Walking Dead will be on DVD/Blu-ray on March 8, 2011. Cover Art below.]

Well that didn’t take long, did it? AMC has already put the wheels in motion on a DVD and Blu-ray release of The Walking Dead.  For a post-apocalyptic horror television series that only debuted this past Halloween (literally, on October 31st), AMC has to be thrilled with the program’s commercial and critical success. A clear indication of the network’s enthusiasm is its somewhat premature push to DVD and Blu-ray.

Unlike most home video releases of episodic television seasons, the first season of The Walking Dead won’t roll out just days before the second season premiere, which, incidentally, is tentatively set for October 2011. Instead, home video distributor Anchor Bay Entertainment will scare up some big business as soon as spring 2011, when the first season of the The Walking Dead will begin turning up in stores.

Starring Andrew Lincoln, Jon Bernthal, and Sarah Wayne Callies, The Walking Dead was inspired by Robert Kirkman’s popular comic series and delves into the months and years following a “zombie apocalypse.”  Shot on location in Atlanta, Georgia, The Walking Dead has become an instant hit with viewers. The pilot alone attracted just over five million viewers, making the series – right out of the gate – the most-watched premiere of any original AMC program.

Earlier this month, the show even bounced back from a noticeable ratings dip with a new ratings best in response to episode 5, “Wildfire”. Last Sunday’s installment of Dead drew better than five and a half million viewers, a fifteen percent increase over the previous week’s episode. Not too shabby.

It’s no wonder why AMC has already renewed the series for a second season of 13 episodes. The only logical concern among some television viewers is that AMC is going to milk the series to death – pun intended – and effectively slow the its runaway momentum.

Fortunately for the network and the show’s producers, The Walking Dead has proven itself to be one of those “lightning in a bottle” projects that will keep fans on the edge of their seats, likely enduring agonizing impatience until the second season finally premieres. So perhaps in this regard, an early home video release of the first season may actually prove the smartest possible approach to keep the enthusiasm for Dead alive.

This Sunday, December 5th, AMC is kicking off a marathon of The Walking Dead – featuring all five episodes of the first season – and concluding with the season finale at 10/9 Central. The season 1 DVD/Blu-ray will be available on March 8, 2011.

BONUS: If you are eager and want to watch three tense minutes of the season finale, go HERE.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter

Update Source: Amazon