THE WALKING DEAD Losing Viewers

Written by Andrew Pollard Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Movie News

Whilst it’s still doing ridiculously impressive numbers, there’s maybe, just maybe, some concern over the declining ratings for AMC’s juggernaut genre show, The Walking Dead.

Now the seventh season of this fan favourite series may have premiered with a mammoth 17 million viewers in the US, but each and every episode since then has seen a drop in viewing numbers. Obviously given how the Season 7 premiere was set to answer that cliffhanger, there was always going to be a slight drop off for the second outing for this latest season, but surprisingly every episode since has also seen a drop in numbers.

As per an EW report, the second episode of Season 7 saw a 25% drop in numbers down to 12.5 million viewers. After that came a third episode that dropped to 11.7 million, which in turn was followed by a drop to 11.4 million for the fourth episode and numbers of 11 million for the fifth episode. Interestingly, that fifth episode number marks the lowest viewing figures for The Walking Dead since 2013's third season.

Like we said, 11 million viewers is still a mighty impressive figure, but it looks as if, for one reason or another, fans are starting to not see this once must-see show as being quite as must-see as it once was.

If we think back to last season, a whole lot of people – including most of us here at Moonbase Alpha – took umbrage with how the faux death of Glenn was handled. Glenn was dead. Super dead. Mega dead. As dead as the proverbial dodo. But wait, what’s that? Oh, it’s a conveniently placed dumpster that young Mr Rhee somehow managed to hide under amid a swarm of walkers. And with that, the internet groaned as a whole host of people were turned off by the show. But still, we’d all tune back in week-to-week, right? That’s how this all works, after all; watch a show, moan, threaten to boycott, then tune right back in the following week.

After that, a whole load of people lost their minds at Season 6 ending on a – shock horror – cliffhanger. In a world where people expect to know what happens next week last week, again the threats of boycott were thrown around by fans angry at the fact that they had to wait for months to find out who Negan and Lucille brutalized.

If we’re being honest, this current seventh season has been a little hit and miss so far. Obviously that season premiere was an explosive, hard-hitting moment of monumentally gut-wrenching television, but some viewers are apparently losing patience a little with The Walking Dead’s at-times ponderous, world-building episodes where very little actually seems to happen – a case that could be argued about this week’s Swear episode. Now not every episode can be a dramatic tour-de-force of blood, guts, drama and game-changing moments, but maybe modern audiences aren’t prepared to wait for the slow-burn element of The Walking Dead to unravel itself. Maybe audiences are just too burned at the countless false promises that the show seems to give its viewers at time. Maybe audiences have gotten too wise to the fact that the season and mid-season premieres and finales are usually the episodes to watch if you want to see something big go down, whilst the entries sandwiched between those episodes may not be as must-watch as they once were.

As we opened this article with, The Walking Dead is still unquestionably doing numbers that any show would be jealous of, but maybe, just maybe, the lustre is starting to wear off a little where AMC’s all-conquering behemoth is concerned.

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