‘The Walking Dead’ Rots in the Ratings

Season eight is off to a slow start (relatively speaking).

The Walking Dead Ratings Season 8 Premiere
Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) in The Walking Dead. AMC

We’ve made our less than enthusiastic opinions on AMC’s The Walking Dead very well known by this point, but how do YOU, the audience, feel about the show? Based on Sunday night’s season eight premiere ratings, it’s something between casual interest and general apathy.

The premiere still won the night with 11.4 million total live viewers, per TheWrap, which would be great for any other show. But since this is The Walking Dead, the most-watched series on TV, that number marks a 35 percent decline year of year, a trend that began right around season four and still appears to be going strong.

Now it may not be entirely fair to judge season eight’s kickoff off compared to season seven’s debut. Last year’s premiere cleared up a major lingering cliffhanger that had the TV-viewing public talking all summer, which resulted in a staggering 17.5 million live viewers. That marked a 16 percent jump compared to 2015’s opener. This season didn’t have such a gimmick to fall back on. On a related note: RIP Glen and Abraham.

But what networks really look for is their ratings in the advertiser-friendly 18-49 age range. So how did season eight’s premiere perform there? The episode snared a 5.0 rating in the key demo, which marks a worrisome 40 percent drop compared to season seven (8.4). While AMC can’t be pleased with such a plunge, they still have a major consolation prize as TV’s No. 1 offering in 18-49 viewers. It’s not the (zombie) apocalypse for them just yet.

The Walking Dead‘s ratings have been trending downward for a few years, but it’s still firmly on par with Game of Thrones as TV’s most sought-after offering. Plus, Sunday night’s episode actually managed to rise 5 percent in total viewers compared to season seven’s midseason premiere, so that’s something.

We’ll check back in next week to see how the show is doing. ‘The Walking Dead’ Rots in the Ratings