"The Walking Dead" ate up the competition on Sunday night.

The mid-season finale of the AMC horror-drama nabbed a whopping 12.1 million viewers in its initial airing and 7.7 million viewers in the advertiser-coveted 18-49 demographic, according to Nielsen. That puts the first half of Season 4 up 29% over the comparable period last year, when the mid-season finale racked up a still-impressive 10.48 million viewers.

“We couldn’t be happier that audiences are continuing to respond in ever-larger numbers to the outstanding work of this amazingly talented team,” said AMC president Charlie Collier. “We’re only at the mid-point of this fourth season, but I know I speak for the entire cast and crew in Atlanta when I say thank you to the fans for joining in our passion for these characters and their journey.”

Killer ratings for "The Walking Dead" also lifted the Chris Hardwick-hosted after-show "Talking Dead," which brought in 6 million viewers overall and 3.8 million viewers in the 18-49 demo. Last night's episode of the talker featured cast members Lauren Cohan, Scott Wilson and executive-producer/"Walking Dead" comic-book creator Robert Kirkman.

In addition to its traditional Nielsen ratings, "The Walking Dead" also ranked as the #1 TV show on Twitter last night, logging 880,450 show-related Tweets and a total of 43.9 million impressions.

"The Walking Dead" Season 4 picks up again on Sunday, February 9.

Did you watch last night's episode? Let us know in the comments.

A former contributor to sites including MTV's The Backlot and Bloody-Disgusting, Chris Eggertsen worked in film development before indulging his love of pop culture writing full time. He specializes in horror, the intersection of social issues and entertainment and Howard Stern. He's on Twitter @HitFixChris.