AMC announced today that the second season of The Walking Dead will (sort of) mirror the first season in a couple of ways.

First, the October 16 season premiere (airing at 9pm) will be 90 minutes long — the same length of the series pilot last year. Fans who have waited a year to watch Andrew Lincoln axe some more hungry ex-humans in their undead skulls should be happy that their first serving of season 2 gore will be super-sized.

The other similarity: As you’ll recall, season one was a slim six episodes long. For season 2, AMC ordered 13 episodes, but will split up the season into two parts, airing six episodes in the weeks following the premiere until November 27, then pick up with the final six on February 12.

I like to think AMC has scheduled the season this way so that it resembles the life cycle of a zombie — alive, dead, and then risen again. But it’s probably so that The Walking Dead doesn’t dip in the ratings around the holiday season, when most people would rather watch Jimmy Stewart learn how wonderful life is than watch a dwindling pack of humanity’s last survivors try not to get their faces eaten off. Whatever the reason, no matter the season, we now have 13.5 confirmed hours of zombie-TV this year, and that’s pretty wonderful.

(Image courtesy of AMC)