File this one under news we’re shocked about hearing. According to ComicBook.com, the ratings for The Walking Dead are at their lowest point since the show’s third season.
When the season seven premiere episode aired on Oct. 23, revealing that Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) killed both Abraham and Glenn, the episode was watched by 17.03 million people and scored an impressive 8.4 rating in the key 18 to 49 demographic, making it the second most watched episode in the show’s history, falling short of the 17.29 million viewers who tuned in for the fifth season premiere.
But ever since the season seven premiere, the subsequent episodes have failed to match the number of viewers in the live and same day viewings and have fallen quite drastically.
The second episode of the show was watched by about 12.5 million people. The third episode was watched by 11.72 million people. The fourth episode was watched by 11.4 million people. The fifth episode, which is the show’s most recent episode and aired on Nov. 20, was watched by under 11 million people.
There’s a variety of reasons why the show is declining in the ratings, including that viewers already know who Negan killed. That, combined with the fact that he killed a fan-favorite character (even if it’s the same way he did it in the comics), could be a reason that fans have stopped watching the episode live and later in the night that it airs.
Some fans have also been turned off by the different storylines that each new episode is taking instead of telling one specific storyline through the season and focusing on that storyline with a few subplots here and there.
However, with a major plotline of the second half of the season being about Rick (Andrew Lincoln) starting to fight back against Negan, the number of viewers and the ratings may start to grow by the time the finale airs.
But don’t be too concerned, Walking Dead fans. The show is still the number cable show on TV right now and has already been renewed for its eighth season.
And, even if fans are concerned, this is a common pattern for the show. For the majority of the seasons, the season premiere has had a high viewership number and it’s slowly tapered off as the season goes on, only to increase again when it comes time for the finale. The ratings dip is just a lot more drastic this season than in past seasons.
The Walking Dead airs Sunday nights at 9 p.m. on AMC.