It seems the ratings blues might be over for AMC’s newest zombie apocalypse series, Fear The Walking Dead. While episode 1 of the spin-off series managed to break cable records, each episode has managed to slide further down in the rating charts week by week.
Some of these ratings slides may have actually had little to do with the content or quality of the Fear The Walking Dead, and more to do with the shows it was up against (such as the Emmys) or the badly timed Labor Day weekend that saw a one week hiatus of Fear. Even so, many critics were fast to jump on the fact that Fear The Walking Dead is not actually The Walking Dead. It seems pretty logical, but apparently many Walking Dead fans were expecting a direct replica of The Walking Dead. When Fear The Walking Dead developed slowly with the onset of the zombie apocalypse, many fans turned off.
Another reason ratings may have dropped for Fear The Walking Dead, as Carter Matt points out, is the fact that many fans saw the fact season 1 was only six episodes and the creators stating the season would watch like a “six hour movie” as reason enough to wait the six weeks and view the entire season in one movie-like hit. Carter Matt also points out though, that while some people are sticking around to view season 1 of Fear in its entirety, the show still runs the risk of “shedding viewers” from season 1 and into season 2
However, it seems the ratings slump for Fear The Walking Dead might finally be over. Episode 5 (entitled “Cobalt” and a nod to the series original concept title) of Fear jumped from 6.6 million to 6.66 million viewers. Now that’s not a big jump by any stretch of the imagination, but, for a series that has lost as much as 19 percent of its viewers from one week to the the next, this is the very first jump in ratings since the show premiered in August.
Something else to point out is the fact that while Fear The Walking Dead has lost viewers nearly every single week, the ratings still make it an overall hit outside of the NFL most weeks. Added to this is the fact that Fear also does incredibly well in the coveted demographic of the 18-49 age bracket with a 3.6 rating overall for episode 5. The 3.6 rating makes it much more desirable than shows like Family Guy (1.5 rating), Blood & Oil (1.4) and the two-hour series finale of CSI (which brokered only a 1.8 rating) on the night.
As well as these statistics is the fact that once DVR viewers are accounted for, Fear The Walking Dead jump considerably in the viewership stakes. As Uproxx points out, once the DVR viewers are accounted for, the viewing audience for Fear The Walking Dead of episode 3 (“The Dog”) actually jumps to a staggering 11.5 million viewers, that’s more than a million viewers greater than the initial episode 1 premiere of 10.1 million viewers that broke cable records. So it will be interesting to see what the overall ratings for episodes 4 and 5 of Fear will be once they are calculated over the next week or so for the Live-plus seven ratings that are calculated based on the overall views from premiere date to seven days following the premiere of an episode.
The season 1 finale of AMC’s Fear The Walking Dead premieres on Sunday, October 4, 2015.
What do you think of Fear The Walking Dead, is it a hit or miss for AMC? Or are you planning to watch the entire season 1 in one hit? Let us know by commenting below.
[Image credits: AMC / Justin Lubin]