With a few exceptions, when you’re an ongoing television program, it’s very difficult to maintain the same ratings and audience from week to week, especially when competition is so fierce nowadays. Plus, with delayed viewings, streaming, and DVR, it’s about more than just the Day One numbers. In the case of The Walking Dead on AMC, while the ratings is a constant conversation topic for many, including this website, the numbers for AMC’s zombie drama still eclipse much of its competition. And star Norman Reedus has noticed the changing landscape.
Again, it’s about more than just the day one views, but also Live+3, Live+7, and so on. And in a recent interview with Deadline, Norman Reedus addressed how many seems to worry about numbers over The Walking Dead, but acknowledged that things have changed in how and when people watch television:
“Well, they only drop when we compare it to ourselves, you know what I’m saying? The way people watch TV is different since we started, for everyone. I mean, sports are down across the board too. It’s just the nature of the beast, that’s how I see it. It’s a crazy weight to carry around on your shoulders when you have that big of an audience and everyone’s asking is it bigger, is it bigger? The beast has just changed, permanently for everyone now.”
And it’s true what Norman Reedus stated about ratings being down across the board. The Emmys, NFL broadcasts, some games of The World Series, and numerous other television programs are either down or merely steady. As far as a continuous tick upward, though, not so much, because again, it’s difficult for a show to maintain its audience from week to week with the same numbers. The Walking Dead, now nine seasons in, is certainly no exception to this rule.
And while AMC may have hoped that the promotion of this season with reminders of Rick Grimes’ final episodes would bring in more viewers, that hasn’t been the case right off the bat. But again, that’s where delayed viewing comes in. And indeed, it would be interesting to see what the ratings look like once Rick Grimes departs The Walking Dead for good with next week’s episode. For Norman Reedus, though, he’d prefer to just focus on the show instead of ratings:
“Personally, I would love it if we never even talked about numbers. I just want to make a show we want to make, because what it feels like on set is great right now. I just want to make the honest show that we started making from the beginning, that’s what it feels like we’re making now.”
And those high up on the show and at AMC have insisted that the series will continue even with the ratings slip, so right now, the focus seems to be on making the best show possible. And indeed, despite ratings, many have noted an increase in quality compared to more recent seasons. What do you think of the ratings slide for The Walking Dead, though? Do you believe they’re a cause for concern or do you think there’s nothing to worry about at the moment? Let us know in the comments below.
The Walking Dead airs on Sunday nights at 9 P.M. on AMC.