It’s no secret that many fans have become increasingly disenfranchised with ‘The Walking Dead‘ as the zombie-apocalypse-turned-heavy-character-development show shambles along towards its eighth season – and now initial viewership numbers are coming in from the seventh season’s finale episode which confirm that fans are falling out of love with the show.
The closing episode of the season, which aired recently on the first weekend of April, was a 90-minute “super-sized” edition of the normally 60-minute series; initial reaction from critics and fans on social media, however, relay a general sense of unrest with the show, bordering on boredom with a series that once was known for its heightened drama and intense portrayal of zombie attacks. Indeed, in the finale, there was only one zombie anywhere to be found, and that was a character who had intentionally committed suicide.
It’s not just dissident fans voicing their dour opinions online: viewership is down, with a reported 11.3 million viewers tuning in to catch the season 7 wrap-up. While that’s a solid number for pretty much any cable-channel offering, things look worse when the number is compared to ‘Walking Dead’ season finales of the past. Season 7’s finale viewership is down 20% from last season’s closing episode (which, in turn, was down 10% from the prior season’s finale), and it’s the smallest number for a ‘Walking Dead’ season finale since all the way back in Season 2.
Does this mean that ‘The Walking Dead’ is in any sort of danger of cancellation? Almost assuredly not, as the show is still considered a pop-culture phenomenon, even if the assertions of the show recycling major season-long plot points and significantly ramping down the zombie action are valid ones. Much like the undead walkers that give the show its name – it may be time to start discussing the fact that the show simply doesn’t know when to die.
The eighth season of ‘The Walking Dead’ will likely debut on AMC around Halloween 2017.
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