AMC’s The Walking Dead has been bleeding viewers consistently over the last few seasons as people appear to lose interest in a show that has a habit of introducing its characters to Utopia, only to see it all go down the gurgler very quickly. Some fans even suggest the show’s main character, Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln), is the kiss of death to any thriving community.
So, how did the Season 9 premiere episode of The Walking Dead fare compared to previous years in the ratings stakes? Apparently, it sucked!
The Season 9 premiere episode of The Walking Dead opened with a promise of a new beginning. As previously reported by the Inquisitr, it had been revealed that the show’s new title credits suggested that the series had a more optimistic view moving forward. However, as Episode 1 continued, it became apparent that the “new beginning” was likely just a facade and that there would be no happy reprieve for the communities who were now working together. Already, unrest between the Hilltop and Saviors groups have suggested that more conflict is coming as Season 9 progresses.
According to Entertainment Weekly, the Season 9 ratings for The Walking Dead have plummeted when compared to the Season 8 premiere. However, according to AMC, this drop could be a result of the network premiering Episode 1 of Season 9 a day early to those who subscribed to their AMC Premiere service. Neilsen does not count these figures in their rating statistics and AMC has not yet released those numbers.
Ratings show that the Season 9 premiere episode of The Walking Dead was seen by 6.1 million viewers. That’s a pretty impressive number — until you compare it to the Season 8 premiere episode.
Entertainment Weekly states that viewership is “down 47 percent from last fall’s season 8 return.” At the last season premiere, more than 11 million people tuned in. And, among the adults 18-49 category, the show was down 51 percent. So, according to the figures, roughly half of those that tuned into the Season 8 premiere returned for Episode 1 of Season 9 of The Walking Dead.
This drop in viewership has also caused AMC Network’s stock prices to drop, according to Deadline. Since the Season 9 premiere, AMC shares have dropped by 10 percent, closing at $57.65 on October 10. This is down 4 percent on above-average trading volume.
Guggenheim’s Michael Morris suggests that it is not only falling ratings for The Walking Dead that have caused the stock price drop but also because “the live television audience continues to age.”
“Combined, we are concerned that overall audience declines and the aging of that audience could put more pressure on the company’s advertising revenue trends than is currently appreciated by investors,” Morris wrote. “While the company has made significant progress in diversifying its advertising base (expanding the slate of original programming, acquiring a consolidated interest in BBC America) we continue to believe that The Walking Dead is a significant contributor to total company revenue.”
Season 9 of The Walking Dead returns to AMC with Episode 2 (titled “The Bridge”) on Sunday, October 14, at 9/8c.