Season 9 of AMC’s The Walking Dead has not been a stellar season, ratings-wise. For a series that has been considered AMC’s mainstay for years, numbers have been dying down for a couple of seasons now. However, with the departure of Rick Grimes, it seems that some fans are returning to watch the series once more.
As previously reported by the Inquisitr, Season 9 has hit some all-time lows with ratings this season. In fact, the ratings have been so low that they’re almost comparable to those seen in the first season of the drama series. However, now as the network ambles towards the last episode featuring its main character, Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln), it seems like old fans are returning — even if it is just to pay their respects to Rick.
As Forbes points out, “after hitting a season 1-level low, ratings have been increasing now for three straight weeks, crawling back up over 5 million viewers to 5.10 million” for Episode 4 (titled “The Obliged”) of The Walking Dead Season 9. Variety notes that this rise is only a matter of “a few percent” compared to Episode 3 (titled “Warning Signs”) of The Walking Dead.
Prior to the airing of Episode 4, AMC had made the announcement that only two episodes remained that included Rick Grimes, so it stands to reason that viewers would return to see how the story concluded for this character. It then seems likely that The Walking Dead could gather even more returning viewers for Episode 5 (titled “What Comes After”), which airs on Sunday, November 4. Of course, whether these viewers will hang around after Rick’s final episode is yet to be seen.
The departure of Rick Grimes was rumored prior to San Diego Comic-Con earlier this year when it was confirmed Andrew Lincoln was leaving the zombie series. Lincoln stated that he was leaving the series in order to spend more time with his family, according to Variety.
“I promised not to cry,” Andrew Lincoln revealed during the Walking Dead panel at San Diego Comic-Con. “I’ve done enough crying onscreen… This has been the most extraordinary, amazing, and beautiful experience of my career.”
Season 9 of The Walking Dead returns to AMC with Episode 5 (titled “What Comes After”) on Sunday, November 4. The synopsis for what is billed as Rick Grimes’ final episode is below.
“Rick is forced to face the past as he struggles to maintain the safety of the communities and protect the future he and Carl envisioned.”