Episode 5 of AMC’s The Walking Dead was billed as Rick Grimes’ final episode. The announcement was made prior to Episode 4, and, likely as a result of this news, ratings started to climb for the zombie apocalypse series. So, did even more prior Walking Dead fans tune in to see the last of Rick?
SPOILER ALERT: This article discusses Episode 5 (titled “What Comes After”) of AMC’s The Walking Dead Season 9. Please proceed with caution if you have not yet viewed this episode and wish to avoid spoilers.
Fans have known with certainty for a while now that Rick Grimes would be leaving The Walking Dead in Season 9. This was so the actor who plays him, Andrew Lincoln, could spend more time with his family in the UK. So, many fans, present and past, tuned in on Sunday night to bid farewell to Rick Grimes. While it was anticipated that Rick would die, the episode concluded with Rick being saved by Anne/Jadis (Polly McIntosh) and taken away in a helicopter to an unknown location.
As previously reported by the Inquisitr, while this episode will be the last time fans get to see Rick Grimes in the TV series, he will return for a trilogy of movies that will likely further explore Anne and her mysterious group.
Season 9 of The Walking Dead has continued on a decline in ratings and viewership that started in Season 6 but began to be seriously felt by the network in Season 7. In its prime, The Walking Dead managed to pull in upwards of 14 million viewers consistently and managed to rise even higher than that for season premieres and finales.
However, Season 9 of The Walking Dead only managed to pull in a little over 6 million viewers for its premiere episode. Since then, it has hovered around the 5 million mark, a series low that hasn’t been seen since the series premiered in 2010.
After the announcement that there were only two episodes left containing Rick Grimes, AMC saw a slight climb in viewership for Episode 4. As previously reported by the Inquisitr, Episode 4 (titled “The Obliged”) saw 5.10 million fans tune in for Rick’s second last episode. This was only a matter of a small percentage rise from the previous week’s efforts. However, the assumption was that even more viewers would tune in to see Rick for the very last time in Episode 5 (titled “What Comes After”) of The Walking Dead Season 9.
So, did this happen?
According to Deadline, AMC did receive a spike in viewership for Episode 5. “Sunday’s extended ‘What Comes After’ episode of Season 9 of TWD snared an audience of 5.4 million and a 2.1 rating among adults 18-49,” Deadline reports.
This is a rise of 6 percent among total viewers.
In addition, the show’s companion program, Talking Dead, which airs after each episode of The Walking Dead, also did better ratings-wise this week. Talking Dead “drew 2.7 million viewers and a 1.0 rating.” This viewership surge was likely helped by the fact that Andrew Lincoln was present for an interview after the episode aired.
Of course, the real test will be next week’s episode of The Walking Dead. Not only will it not have Rick Grimes, but Episode 5 ended with a significant time jump. So, it will be interesting to see if the viewers who returned for Rick’s final episode will hang around to find out more in Episode 6.
Season 9 of The Walking Dead returns to AMC with Episode 6 (titled “Who Are You Now”) on Sunday, November 11. AMC has released the following synopsis for this episode.
“The Survivors encounter unfamiliar faces outside the safety of their community’s walls and must decide whether or not this new group can be trusted.”