The show is called “The Walking Dead,” and that may come true pretty soon. The Season 7 finale had the lowest rating since Season 3– just 11.35 million viewers. And that number was down over 6 million from Episode 1 of this season, which drew 17.03 million viewers. The AMC hit is in free fall.
What happened? Very simple. The season opener, highly anticipated, was so bloody, gory, intense and out of whack with any reality that viewers fled- in droves. While someone at AMC seems to think Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s portrayal of Negan is a hit, it’s simply a huge turn off. Maybe he’s too good an actor. But I, for one, left the minute he brandished that barbed wire club and never returned. I was not alone.
Nearly five million fans were gone after week 1. Of course, the cliffhanger return episodes always do well, and then there’s some fall off. But a look at the chart above (thanks to Wikipedia) shows nothing ever happened before in the “Walking Dead” history that compared to this debacle. After the 5th season return– the highest rating ever for the show at 17.30 million–the next episode dropped by about 2 million. And the numbers came back. This time, they did not.
AMC and the “Walking Dead” creators had better think about what Season 8 is going to look like, and how to lure back more than just their cult believers. Otherwise, the party is over. And the zombies have won.