Last week’s Season Nine premiere of AMC’s ‘The Walking Dead’ was a new low for a season premiere for this one-time red-hot series and ratings actually dropped further– by 20%– for the season’s second episode. The episode scored a 2.0 Nielsen Rating which amounts to 4.9 million viewers in the key 18-49 year-old demographic. That’s just slightly more than the series’ lowest number of viewers, 4.7M, in Season One. Its previous low rating was 2.4, also in the first season.
That said, it was still the second-best viewed show of the evening, behind Sunday Night Football, with the third best rated program being ALCS baseball. So as far as regular, non-sports programming, ‘The Walking Dead’ is still #1.
These weak ratings are only for live views, meaning people that watched the show as it aired. It doesn’t take into account viewings of recorded episodes or streaming views on the AMC app. At least the DVR-recorded viewings will still count, provided viewers watch the episode within the week. (Also keep in mind that not everyone is a member of a “Nielsen family,” so the ratings are an approximation.)
But it can’t be ignored. ‘The Walking Dead’ has lost its luster. Some longtime fans have likely tuned out after losing so many beloved characters, even though that’s kind of the whole setup of the show. But killing off Carl might have been the last straw for many. Then again, maybe ‘The Walking Dead’ is just getting too long in the tooth. Nine seasons is an impressive run for any show. And as stated, it was still the #1 proper TV show of the night, not counting football.
AMC has a lot riding on this series. There is already the spin-off ‘Fear the Walking Dead’, plus ‘Talking Dead’, the post-show chat program, hosted by Chris Hardwick, which regularly features cast members, producers, and celebrity fans. ‘The Walking Dead’ executive producer and former showrunner Scott M. Gimple was promoted last year to oversee “all things ‘Walking Dead'” which implies that AMC has plans to expand this brand even further. They can’t be blamed for that. None of their other original series has come anywhere close to the popularity of ‘The Walking Dead’. Unless they can strike gold with another original project, expect them to keep milking this series for as long as they can.
Are you still watching/enjoying ‘The Walking Dead’?