The Walking Dead Has Lost Thousands Of Viewers (But Here’s Just How Many)


The Walking Dead has been a television juggernaut since its inception in 2010. Since then AMC has seen the ratings for their most popular show rise season by season (save for a slight lull during Season 6). This year has been quite different for The Walking Dead, starting with its Season 8 premiere.

The Walking Dead | Photo Credit AMC

The Walking Dead saw a massive drop from a 17.03 million viewers premiere in Season 7 to 11.4 million viewers. The Season 8 premiere had the lowest ratings since Season 3 of the show. There may be some easily explainable reasons for this drop.

Why So Low?

The Walking Dead | Photo Credit AMC

If we look at the details surrounding the last few seasons, the drop does not look as devastating. Season 6 saw a debut with 14.6 million viewers,  which is only a few million over what we have seen in Season 8. The ratings continued to climb into Season 7, which exploded to the previously mentioned 17.03 million viewers. This jump was most likely caused by the infamous cliffhanger at the end of Season 6.

So many of us tuned in day one to see what unfortunate soul would be on the receiving end of Lucille. That being considered, perhaps it was the lack of a cliffhanger, as well as the inflation from the previous season’s cliffhanger, that led to the somewhat daunting drop.

Unfortunately, this does not explain the continuous drop we’ve seen throughout Season 8 of The Walking Dead. The mid-season finale for the show pulled a meager 7.8 million viewers. This can most likely be attributed to the controversial decisions the show has made for “All Out War.”

Many fans have complained about the pacing and tone of the season. Further, the quality of the show was severely lacking from episode to episode. The main reprieve from this slog being the fan favorite Episode 5, “The Big Scary U”.

Don’t Panic. The Walking Dead Isn’t Doomed.

The Big Scary U | Photo Credit: AMC

Ratings and fan complaints aside, there is still hope for the future of The Walking Dead. A lot of hope in fact. As it stands The Walking Dead is still the highest viewed show for AMC. Overall its one of the highest rated shows on television, alongside Game of Thrones. The rating drop is by no means a non-story, but it certainly does not spell doom for the series.

To be honest, this drop is not unusual for popular TV shows. Most popular shows have seen a decline in viewership in their latter seasons, especially following a sharp climb (like what is seen from Season 5-7). Rest assured that The Walking Dead has a good amount of life left.

  • Kathy Wright

    It doesn’t have long life if Carl dies, it’s bad enough they killed off Glenn.

  • Kathy Warden

    Killing Glenn and Carl and Sasha, and NOT killing Negan is likely a big reason!

  • Genie Redman

    I’m done now tht they have done this to Carl. Anyone, but Carl!!!!

  • Julie L.

    I watch the show and read the comic and I am far from leaving this show.

  • nofunone1

    no carl no show I hope the show dies hard

  • David Allen

    IMHO, I think the writers have become lazy. Many episodes are really lacking. One perfect example is the scene in the last episode when Maggie and her whole convoy just sat in their vehicles while the Saviors rode up along the convoy. Not one person got out of their vehicle? Not one shot fired? From the group who thinis that they are fighting for their lives?
    To me, that is weak writing. I had to walk away for a few. I sure hope the writing gets better.

  • Kim Hill

    Love The Walking Dead AWESOME AMAZING BEST SHOW EVER! Love life love laughing love family and friends!

  • Khristine Tribble

    I love the walking dead!! I’ve been a fan from day one I’m not going anywhere I will watch it till the show ends

  • Shelly

    I just don’t know if I can continue watching, almost all of the originals that we grew to love are gone and I cannot stand the new people, I was not happy after Glen was killed off but now carl, not sure where they are going with this story line but its going down a road of losing most of it’s viewers, good luck with that!

  • Oralee Elford

    I love The Walking Dead!!! Kinda disappointed tho cuz of killing off Carl, but I will continue to watch!!!

  • Darla Sawyers Hansen-Cross

    Numbers are not always accurate. Prime example me and my son watched it for years. 2 years ago my husband my husband started watching. I do think the show is doomed if they kill off Carl.

  • Grace Arledge

    I will keep watching TWD, but they better STOP making rash mistakes such as killing off Carl, especially when his character could have been more fully developed as a young man and leader in the Survivors. Perhaps TWD writers can somehow fix Carl’s death (?) but I know the rest of S8 is already filmed so it is unlikely. In other words, if they know what’s good for them, they’ll never kill off Daryl or Rick, perhaps a few others that people are really attached with, or it will spell doom, because this is the type of show that viewers really get into the story, characters, zombies, everything. That’s why we’re such intense fans.

  • Karen

    What, pray tell, is a ladder season? Is there a fire engine involved?

  • Connie Turner Genet

    Can’t stand it since Neegan is in it!

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