In its ninth season, ‘The Walking Dead’ continues to drop in ratings, but this Sunday, the series reached a new series low, with its smallest audience ever and the lowest ratings among 18-49 year-olds. It’s possible to lay part of the blame on competition. The NBA All-Star Game aired at the same time on TNT and TBS. But the series has been on a steady decline for the past few seasons. Before Sunday, its smallest audience was 4.71 million viewers and that was for the show’s second-ever episode, back on November 7, 2010. This week’s episode only drew 4.54 million viewers, down 12% from the prior episode, which was the midseason premiere. In terms of ratings, it was down 15%.
Across the board, live viewers have dropped 40% from Season 8, and 60% from Season 7, meaning that half the audience has jumped ship. The fact that ‘The Walking Dead’ is in its ninth season is also a valid reason why ratings have declined.
With all that said, ‘The Walking Dead’ is still the highest-rated non-sports show on cable. Not only that, but a huge chunk of TV watchers no longer sit and view live programs. Once recordings are added in, the ratings increase. Streaming doesn’t factor in, but that is also a way that people consume programming that takes away from traditional live-watching.
But this show used to be THE watercooler show that coworkers would gather around to discuss every Monday. Since then, however, ‘Game of Thrones’, ‘Westworld’, ‘Stranger Things’, ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’, and others have become buzzier hits. While ‘The Walking Dead’s ratings are technically the best of any non-sports show on cable, after nine seasons, how much more zombie death is there to talk about?
Don’t expect ‘The Walking Dead’ to die just yet. AMC has invested in spinoffs. Andrew Lincoln will return as Rick Grimes in a planned trilogy of TV movies. There is still ‘Fear the Walking Dead’, and there may be even more spinoffs coming in various forms.
Are you still tuning into ‘The Walking Dead’ every Sunday?
Source: The Hollywood Reporter