Revenue of AMC Networks Inc (NASDAQ:AMCX) surged by 28 percent for the first quarter of the current fiscal year, driven by its two television series, “The Walking Dead” and “Mad Men,” according to data from SQAD, Inc., a recognized industry standard forecasting source for national TV and radio stations as well as internet.

AMC Network

AMC Television Series the Walking Dead and Mad Men

The Walking Dead is a horror television drama series based on a comic book series about a small group of survivors living in the aftermath of a zombie apocalypse. Frank Darabont developed the story for television, which premiered in October 2010 on AMC Networks Inc (NASDAQ:AMCX) cable television. The TV series received nominations for the Golden Globe Awards and the Writers Guild of America Award, and achieved strong ratings from Nielsen. Its third season finale enjoyed a record high rating with 12.4 million viewers.

On the other hand, Mad Men is a critically acclaimed period drama series about the lives of the competitive and ruthless men and women of Madison Avenue advertising during the 1960s in New York. Mathew Weiner created and produced the program, which was the first basic cable series to win an Emmy for Outstanding Drama Series for four consecutive years.

James Boyle, managing director of SQAD noted, “It is hard to ignore that the cable networks are consistently successfully developing 1-2 hit shows across their portfolio to widen advertising appeal, while the broadcast networks try to hang onto aging hits for one last season.”

Boyle added that Cable TV groups landed 4 out of the top 5 places, with the highest revenue increases during the first quarter. According to him, based on their evaluation on the latest issue of Media COSTrends, “most broadcasters excluding CBS, are building sandcastles against incoming tide.”

The four other television networks with significant revenue increases for the first quarter include Crown Media Nets (+18%), CBS Net. & Synd. (+18%), Scripps Networks (+15%), and Discovery Networks (+12%).

During the last quarter, Fox Network’s revenue dropped by 11 percent due to declining viewership of “American Idol” and “Glee.”

CW Network suffered the largest revenue decrease of 27 percent followed by NBC Net., Synd Telemundo by 24 percent.  ABC Network and Synd declined by 5 percent and Disney-ESPN Cable Networks by 5 percent.

Larry Fried, vice president of National Networks at SQAD commented, “Four of the five biggest Q1 losers are in the worst case scenario: a weak broadcast ad market, coupled with severely eroding ratings.”