For any television show, it can be challenging to maintain a particular number of ratings from week to week or even from season to season, regardless of popularity or notoriety. The Walking Dead is no exception and with the AMC zombie series entering its ninth season under the tutelage of new showrunner Angela Kang, the hope is that this feels like a fresh start and literal new beginning with the series picking up with a time jump months after the war with Negan and the Saviors as long concluded.
However, that new beginning does not translate into pure, day one numbers, as the ratings for the Season 9 premiere, “A New Beginning,” was a far cry from last year’s Season 8 premiere. Right now, the ratings for “A New Beginning” check in at 6.1 million viewers. For comparison’s sake, the Season 8 premiere, “Mercy,” had over 11 million viewers. And among the 18-49 age demographic, that’s a decline of 51 percent for The Walking Dead. However, still a high number that most network shows would probably kill to have, no doubt.
Even with all of the regime changes for The Walking Dead, not to mention the upcoming departures of Lauren Cohan and especially series lead Andrew Lincoln, not helped by AMC continuing to promote this season as “Rick Grimes’ Final Episodes,” one would think that there would be a bit of anticipation to see how the show would change not just under a new showrunner, but with the departure of two main staples of the series, one of whom we’ve been with from the very beginning.
But no, indeed it appears that some viewers may be checking out. Could it be a sign of franchise fatigue? Or perhaps one should wait longer for Live+3 ratings since there are many who watch these shows after the fact? There is a lot of television on right now, so not everything can be seen live, so it’s not completely about the day one numbers anymore, but it can be for many network executives. And while AMC is no doubt going to keep both The Walking Dead and Fear the Walking Dead going for some time, the ratings cannot be ignored.
With that said, did you watch the premiere of The Walking Dead this past Sunday? If so, what did you think of it? Do you think the ratings should be cause for concern? And whether yes or no, what is your explanation? Be sure to let us know in the comments below.
The Walking Dead stars Andrew Lincoln, Norman Reedus, Lauren Cohan, Danai Gurira, Melissa McBride, Alanna Masterson, Josh McDermitt, Christian Serratos, Traci Dinwiddie, Elizabeth Ludlow, Lindsley Register, Brett Butler, Seth Gilliam, Ross Marquand, Katelyn Nacon, Tom Payne, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Callan McAuliffe, Khary Payton, Pollyanna McIntosh, Callan McAuliffe, and Avi Nash.
The series airs on Sunday nights at 9 PM on AMC.
Source: Entertainment Weekly