‘The Walking Dead’ is currently in its ninth season, and the show is struggling to maintain the viewership it once had. In its prime, the show brought in an average of 14 million viewers. The numbers have been steadily falling, seeing an average of just 7 million people tuning in for season eight.
Norman Reedus, who plays Daryl Dixon on the show, has responded to the ratings issue. In a recent interview, Reedus said:
“Look, everyone’s worried about numbers and they’re like oh, the numbers have dropped. Well, they only drop when we compare it to ourselves, you know what I’m saying? The way people watch TV is different since we started, for everyone. I mean, sports are down across the board too. It’s just the nature of the beast, that’s how I see it.”
He continued, saying:
“It’s a crazy weight to carry around on your shoulders when you have that big of an audience and everyone’s asking is it bigger, is it bigger? The beast has just changed, permanently for everyone now.”
Reedus added that he doesn’t worry about the numbers, and wishes no one else did either, saying:
“Personally, I would love it if we never even talked about numbers. I just want to make a show we want to make, because what it feels like on set is great right now. I just want to make the honest show that we started making from the beginning, that’s what it feels like we’re making now.”
He was, of course, asked whether he thought the show would suffer even more following the exit of Andrew Lincoln as frontman Rick Grimes. In response, Reedus said:
“Some bands are heavy on lead guitar and it’s just guitar solos forever and you know, the rest of the band isn’t getting the chance to play. Now, we got new singers. we got new guitarists and I really feel that the show’s the best it’s ever been.”
He explained that the show has, in his opinion, hit its stride:
“We’re making the show that we want to make right now and you can feel it on set, you can feel it all over the place. I really feel the scripts and the stories and the episodes are even better in the back eight, I really do. They’re f***ing epic, you know, and they’re just crushing and they’re severe, all of them. The show’s morphing into something else but it’s got the heart and the feel of the original show, there’s just new life breathing through it.”
He finished by saying he thinks fans will want to see what happens next, saying:
“So, do I think we’ll lose viewers after Andy? I think they’ll tune in to see what happens to Andy and then they’re going to tune in to see what it’s like without him.”
‘The Walking Dead’ airs every Sunday on AMC.