Why Are Ratings Dropping for The Walking Dead?

After one of the most highly-anticipated premieres of the fall season, AMC’s The Walking Dead has seen their ratings drop significantly. While it can be expected for some fans to leave after the death of a favorite character, (or two favorite characters for that matter), the show is seeing drastic changes in their ratings that have some people worried.

The first episode of Season 7 was very difficult for everyone involved. The cast had a hard time filming it, the fans had a hard time watching it, it was extremely violent, brutal and heart-wrenching all in one single episode. There were many people who announced that they would n longer be watching the show after the premiere for various reasons. Some didn’t like all the brutality that was involved in Glenn and Abraham’s death, while others felt that it was far too bleak for the season premiere.

There are also many viewers who fear for the life of the main characters on show since writers and producers have hinted that no one is safe. Viewers who have been with the show since day one may feel that the show will be useless if a main character such as Rick gets killed off.

But it is important that the viewers of the show remember that we are watching a show about the zombie apocalypse. While The Walking Dead has done a spectacular job at building up memorable characters and touching storylines that go far beyond running from hoards of the undead, this is still a show about the end of the world. And just like in real life, if we were faced with a zombie apocalypse ourselves, no one would be safe.

You should keep in mind that these characters are dealing with all types of challenges. They have very little food, a small amount of supplies, are losing the people that they love and they must deal with evil people who are now more of a threat than the walkers themselves. So, it should be obvious that not even the original cast members are safe.

There are also many people who are tired of seeing their favorites on the losing end. Add in the fact that the group is no longer together and we are getting episodes showing only one or two cast members (or one in the case of last week’s Tara-only episode), and there are some people who are no longer watching due to sheer boredom.

Even though the November 27th episode “Swear” was seen as a filler by many dedicated fans, there were some key points revealed to viewers that some may have missed.

  • The gang at Alexandria is walking distance from the shore. That means they have access to fish and possibly other resources.
  • Negan’s reign reaches out far beyond his hold over Hilltop, The Kingdom and Alexandria.
  • Tara may be able to reason with the women at the village to help out with their fight against the Saviors.
  • There are several young girls at the village, could one of them end up being Clementine (from the TWD video game storyline)? It’s just a theory, but a good one.

 

TWD 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.

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.