‘The Walking Dead’ Is Hitting Milestones, But Not In A Good Way, As Ratings Plummet

The Season 8 finale and Season 9 premiere episodes are the worst yet, ratings-wise, for 'The Walking Dead.'

Ratings decline for AMC's 'The Walking Dead
Jackson Lee Davis / AMC

The Season 8 finale and Season 9 premiere episodes are the worst yet, ratings-wise, for 'The Walking Dead.'

Ever since The Walking Dead burst onto television screens, ratings have continued to grow at such a rate that many other networks and TV series couldn’t even compare to the numbers tuning in to see the undead rising. However, now in Season 9, the show is showing drastic signs of decline.

As Deadline points out, the second episode of AMC’s The Walking Dead Season 9 has shown a 2.0 rating among adults 18-49. This is an abysmal rating compared to the show’s heyday when it could command a huge viewership with the airing of each new episode. This newest rating puts The Walking Dead in a position it hasn’t seen since Season 1. In fact, Season 1’s worst rating was 2.4, according to Gizmodo, so things could certainly be considered grim moving forward for The Walking Dead. However, as Variety points out, a 2.0 rating still equates to 4.7 million people tuning in to watch Episode 2 of Season 9.

The worrying decline and the show hitting milestone lows started with the Season 8 finale episode. Usually, for AMC and The Walking Dead, season premieres and finales usually see a boost in viewership as people tune in for the main action. However, the Season 8 finale drew in the least amount of viewers in Walking Dead history. Then, when Season 9 premiered, a new milestone was hit with the least amount of viewers tuning in for a Walking Dead premiere, according to Gizmodo.

Ratings continue to decline for Episode 2 of AMC's 'The Walking Dead' Season 9
  Jackson Lee Davis / AMC

However, one could argue that the decline started well before the Season 8 finale episode of The Walking Dead. In fact, numbers started to drop back in Season 6 of the zombie apocalypse drama series. That season saw a very dramatic entrance of the highly anticipated villain, Negan. However, it appeared this introduction didn’t translate well and viewers started to tune out as the battle between Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) and Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) continued. The ratings raised slightly with the finale episode of Season 6 when viewers tuned in to see who Negan would kill, which was anticipated from the comics the TV series is based on. AMC then dragged this reveal out until the Season 7 premiere, once again bringing in an increase in viewers. However, numbers started dropping once more after that event.

As for whether this worrying decline will continue in Season 9 of The Walking Dead, only time will reveal that answer.

Season 9 of The Walking Dead returns to AMC with Episode 3 (titled “Warning Signs”) on Sunday, October 28, at 9/8c. AMC lists the following synopsis for this episode.

“Rick’s vision for the future is threatened by a mysterious disappearance that divides the work camp where the communities are building a bridge.”