About half-way into season 9, AMC's The Walking Dead has hit another all-time ratings low, and it's unclear if the downward trend can be reversed. Many factors play into a TV network's decision to cancel or renew a show, but for the most part, the ratings are the most important element in play. If a show draws poor viewership, it's chances of getting the axe instantly become much higher. Less viewers means less people seeing ads, and that naturally means less money advertisers are willing to pay networks to advertise during the show in question.
It seems like a simple formula, and many times it is. Oddly enough though, the more The Walking Dead continues to plummet in the ratings, the more plans AMC announces for the franchise. AMC has made it known they want to create additional spinoffs beyond Fear the Walking Dead, and following Andrew Lincoln's exit from the main show as Rick Grimes, AMC revealed plans to make three TV movies starring Lincoln that serve to tell Rick's story between when he's presumed dead and the years-long time jump that occurred later in that episode.
While The Walking Dead's ratings have been steadily declining since season 7, this past Sunday's episode - entitled "Stradivarius," and the second to air after Rick's departure - fell to a new series low, according to Spoiler TV. The episode earned a 1.8 rating in the advertiser-prized 18-49 viewer demographic, and drew in 4.79 million total viewers. That's an about 11 percent drop from last week's 2.02 in the demo and 5.39 million total viewers.
Overall, The Walking Dead's season 9 average in the 18-49 demo is 2.03, a nearly 40 percent drop from season 8's average. Its total audience average for season 9 is 5.25 million viewers per episode, which is about a 33 percent drop from season 8. Considering though that Walking Dead has yet to take its annual midseason break, it's likely season 9's average ratings will fall a considerable amount further before the season finale airs in early 2019.
What's most frustrating about this continued free fall of Walking Dead's ratings is that by most accounts, season 9 has been a big improvement on the last few seasons, and the two episodes post-time jump have drawn acclaim for keeping the show compelling without its former lead character. Unfortunately, in the eyes of many fans, it might be too late for this uptick in quality to matter. Lots of people felt that the conflict between Rick and Negan's factions consumed way too much of the show, lasting for two entire seasons. Those that left due to that are unlikely to return to the fold, and with Rick and Maggie now gone, lots more fans are likely to keep exiting. For now though, AMC still claims not to care about the ratings.
The Walking Dead season 9 midseason finale airs Sunday on AMC.
Source: Spoiler TV