David Alpert, CEO of Skybound Entertainment, producers of AMC’s flagship series ‘The Walking Dead’, says that the declining ratings of the once highest-rated show on television are misleading. The most recent midseason finale had the lowest ratings since Season Two. But as Alpert responds, “I don’t think in any way the brand has lost its relevance in general. I think we’re just seeing a decline in urgency across all media to consume something at a specific time.”
Essentially, fans are no longer required to watch TV live. They can record it and watch it later or stream it whenever they want.
“I think overall we’re seeing increased competition, not just from television and not just from streaming services, but you get content everywhere. The idea that people watch things super live, that need to view on the same night and we’re measuring ratings like a live rating, I feel like it’s a little be anachronistic to be like, ‘Oh, you’re not holding the same ratings that you were.'”
‘The Walking Dead’ can be a divisive show and its fans can be quite vocal. The entire show is built around death, but the longer characters stick around, the harder it is for viewers to say goodbye. And some of the more recent deaths have been particularly hard for some fans. It is very possible that some people have quit watching because they no longer like it. But it is also possible that it’s just a sign of the times, that we are free to watch what we want, when we want. It just so happens that if people wait to long, it takes a negative toll on ratings.
Alpert says that the fanbase is still strong and that he is even still finding viewers who are still getting caught up with the series.
“I still get people coming up to me at conventions talking about, they’re in the middle of Season 6. They can’t believe what’s going on. I still get people coming up to me like, ‘You killed Beth? You killed Beth? What’s the matter with you?’ And I’m like, ‘Are you in Season 5?’ and they’re like, ‘Yeah, I’m in Season 5!'”
What do you think? Can you tune out from ‘The Walking Dead’?