A Downward Spiral? 

Alanna Masterson as Tara on The Walking DeadImage Credit: AMC

The Walking Dead started out Season 7 with a bang — literally. A gory bang. 

The season premiere resolved the cliffhanger and showed Negan bashing in the heads of both Abraham and Glenn. The episode made records as the most-watched in the series’ history. Unfortunately, the victory was short-lived, as the ratings for subsequent episodes fell to near-record lows.

In order to win back viewers, producers could be forced to make some big changes…

Normally, when ratings for a show begin to decline, there are concerns it could be canceled. In the case of The Walking Dead, that’s incredibly unlikely. Not only is it still the number one show on television, it’s AMC’s biggest hit. The network needs its cash cow around to even stay afloat.

BUT that’s not exactly what the fans are worried about most happening… 

6Forced To “Tone” It Down?

Image Credit: AMC

With that said, though, the network has to be concerned about the falling ratings. You have to wonder if the executives at AMC will begin to pressure producers to offer up some changes.

In fact, there’s evidence that it’s already happened!

In the mid-season finale, the character “Fat” Joey had his head bashed in by Daryl. It was a scene that was eerily reminiscent of Abraham and Glenn’s deaths in the season premiere. The difference was that this time the camera never showed Joey’s body or head after Daryl took the first swing; instead, the camera stuck to Daryl as he rained down blow after blow. Joshua Hoover, who played Joey, revealed in an interview that he had filmed a long gory death scene, but it was cut in the editing room.

Killing Negan

Many viewers had complained that Glenn and Abraham’s deaths were too graphic; could “Fat” Joey’s death have been altered as a result? If so, what other changes might the show make? Season 7 has already completed filming, so there are unlikely to be any major changes, but Season 8 could be a different story.

A lot of critics and viewers alike have expressed their displeasure with the entire Negan story arc so far. Could the network force producers to break with the comic book and end the storyline early? Negan is actually still around in the comics, but maybe producers will be pressured to kill him off in order to please viewers. In order to avoid catching up with the comic, it could even become necessary for producers to invent a whole new storyline.

Hopefully, with Rick finally taking a stand against Negan, viewers will come around and the ratings will improve. If not, we may be in for a wild ride.

Do you think The Walking Dead should hurry and end the Negan storyline? What other changes would you make?

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