Credit: Gene Page/AMC Photo: You've Upset Carl Grimes, People. Bad Idea. (Season 4, Episode 9, "After")

The Walking Dead Season 4 may have taken a lengthy break that lasted over two months, but people hardly forgot about the hit drama when it returned for the Season 4 midseason premiere last night, February 9.

The Wrap reports that the highly-anticipated return of the second half of the season pulled in some 15.8 million viewers — impressive for an installment largely focused on one of the show’s most disliked characters, Carl Grimes (Chandler Riggs). 10.4 million of those viewers were in the valuable 18-49 demo.

With nearly 16 million total viewers, the midseason premiere easily beat out December 2013’s deadly midseason finale, which only drew in 12.1 million total viewers. However, Episode 9, “After,” didn’t manage to beat the Season 4 premiere which debuted back in October 2013. The season opener grabbed a record-breaking 16.1 million viewers, some 300,000 more than last night’s installment.

Despite not breaking any records last night, AMC was understandably thrilled with the episode’s performance, especially since it had stiff competition from the Winter Olympics in Sochi and CBS’s much-discussed tribute to the Beatles. “With a number of high-profile choices on television last night, for The Walking Dead to deliver record ratings is remarkable. Thanks to the fans, who have been so supportive of this show in so many ways. We share your passion for this world,” AMC president Charlie Collier said. “Thanks also to the terrific team of writers, starting with Scott Gimple and Robert Kirkman, who with our outstanding executive producers, cast, and crew pour their hearts into this series, always with the fans in mind. I speak for everyone at AMC in expressing my sincere appreciation and our shared excitement for the journey ahead. Chocolate pudding for all!”

Pudding-loving Carl would be so proud!

We bet Charlie and the rest of the AMC suits are pleased that they decided to keep showrunner Scott Gimple on for at least another season. Some of his episodes may be a bit slow for our taste, but this guy knows good TV!

Are you surprised that so many people tuned in to Episode 9: “After”? Tell us your thoughts below!

The Walking Dead airs Sunday nights at 9 p.m. ET on AMC.

Source: The Wrap