After a much-hyped premier, which involved the deaths of the beloved Glenn and Abraham, fans have been leaving The Walking Dead in massive numbers. In what the cast described as a similar regiment to filming Apocalypse Now, the first episode was as difficult to film as it was to watch.

Steven Yuen, who plays Glenn, described filming as “Ten days in a hole of despair and shit.” While Jeffrey Dean Morgan, who plays Negan, described the episode, “The Day Will Come When You Won’t Be” as “Ten days of Hell.”

The episode created a great deal of blowback on Twitter, both in the form of complaints of the violence, as well as the story in general. Many fans feel that the show is doing too much to trick its audience in addition to the violence.

Many viewers began to lose faith when the creators almost killed Glenn last season in the fake dumpster death. While some fans left after the first episode, others seemed to trickle off since the premier.

The series has lost a little over four ratings points since the second episode, with further decline for Episode 3 this season. This level of dropoff is somewhat unprecedented in newer shows on television.

The Walking Dead | Photo Credit AMCThe Walking Dead | Photo Credit AMC

TV By the Numbers

According to Rick Porter, editor at TV By The Numbers, “In sheer numbers, [the decrease] is probably up there, and certainly it’s the biggest this season so far. But percentage-wise (about 27 percent) it wasn’t disastrous, [just] more than usual for Episode 2 of recent seasons but not unheard of.”

While Porter is mainly positive in his analysis, such a decline is still an enormous number. The overall rating is 17.03 and now it’s as low as 8.4 according to the demo performed a few days ago.

The dropoff is huge when considering the foundation of the show. This isn’t Two and Half Men when the main character decided to simply leave the show (or was forced) and we found an odd replacement that doesn’t fit the storyline, these things on The Walking Dead were supposed to happen.

The Walking Dead | Photo Credit AMCThe Walking Dead | Photo Credit AMC

The Average Fan Numbers

On average, a show like The Walking Dead might lose ten percent of its audience on the second episode, after a talked-about premier. Actually, The Walking Dead averaged about 12.4 percent, but this number is closer to a twenty-four percent dropoff. In addition, fans didn’t come back to catch Episode 3, which is also unusual.

It’s difficult to determine whether or not the series will get back on its feet this season. Fans have lost trust in the show. “The Cell,” which was Episode 3, was as desolate as the first episode and it doesn’t look like things are changing anytime soon for Rick and the gang.

The only real benefit is that no other cable show (HBO not included, but Walking Dead is trumping Westworld) has a rival rating on the Sunday night slot. Assuming viewers aren’t watching the late night football game, this does give The Walking Dead a fighting chance to come back later this season.