Despite premiering only one episode of its second season, AMC has bet big on its companion zombie series “Fear the Walking Dead” by renewing it for a third. Although it didn’t meet the ratings of the highly anticipated, and much-talked-about, Season 6 finale of “The Walking Dead,” the network is pleased enough with its showing to continue the California-set prequel through 2017. 

Not only will “Fear the Walking Dead” return next year for another 16-episode run, the Chris Hardwick after-show “Talking Dead: Fear” will again cap off each Sunday night with a discussion of the events in the just-shown episode. For those unfamiliar, “Fear the Walking Dead” is set in the same world as “The Walking Dead,” only across the country and at the onset of the zombie apocalypse rather than six years into it. Although it’s not directly based on the comics by Robert Kirkman, he still helms the series along with Dave Erickson. 

“What Dave Erickson and Robert Kirkman have invented in ‘Fear The Walking Dead’ is to be applauded. Watching Los Angeles crumble through the eyes of our characters and seeing each make decisions and try to figure out the rules of their new world — it’s fresh, eerie and compelling and we’re all in for the ride,” Charlie Collier, president of AMC, Sundance TV and AMC Studios said in a statement. “As Victor Strand observed, ‘The only way to survive a mad world is to embrace the madness.’ We thank the millions of fans for embracing this mad world and look forward to sailing far into the future. 

According to Deadline, the spinoff series still had an impressive Season 2 premiere, despite being down a whopping 53 percent in Nielsen ratings from the flagship series’ Season 6 finale the previous week. The outlet reports that it captured 6.7 million viewers, 3.9 million of them being in the coveted 18-49 demographic. Even though it was down, it was still the highest-rated show on Sunday night, despite stiff competition from the MTV Movie Awards and the Golden State Warriors game against the San Antonio Spurs. 

AMC, in its announcement, revealed even high ratings in the Live +3 numbers, which put the total viewership closer to 8.8 million with 5.3 million in the 18-49 range. Currently, “Fear the Walking Dead” is the second highest-rated cable show on TV, trumped only by its companion series “The Walking Dead.” 

Sadly, there’s no word yet on which cast members will return for Season 3 given that they’re all still in danger of being killed off in Season 2. With episode 2, “We All Fall Down” set to debut on Sunday at 9 p.m. EDT, there’s no telling who will make it out to the other end of the current season to join the third run. 

Are you excited to see more “Fear the Walking Dead” between seasons of “The Walking Dead”? Comment below or tweet your thoughts on the matter to @TylerMcCarthy