Sunday, June 16, 2024

Sunday Night Ratings: Aretha Franklin Special Beat “The Walking Dead,” Once Powerhouse Cable Show Now Dying on the Vine


Wait? What? On Sunday night, “The Walking Dead” scored just 4.8 million viewers in the second episode of its new season.

The once formidable cable juggernaut was BEATEN soundly at 9pm by the Aretha Franklin special on CBS. “Aretha! A Grammy Special” garnered an average 5.3 million viewers. Indeed, at 10pm, “Talking Dead” — which is a panel discussion about what just happened to the Zombie hunters — had just 2 million.

You can’t compare subscription cable to network shows. But “Walking Dead” is included on every cable system. You can’t escape AMC. It’s not HBO or Showtime. It’s really no different than another network.

At its zenith, “The Walking Dead” boasted 17 million viewers in 2014-15. I do think it’s time to wrap it up. They’ve lost 12 million fans.

And Aretha: she’s smiling down from heaven.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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