Perhaps because of how much it tends to get complained about online and on social media, The Walking Dead is still one of -- if not the -- biggest shows on TV. Even with the ratings drops the show suffered during season 7, it still has a long way to fall before its spot as the most watched series among the advertiser's prized 18-49 demographic is in any real jeopardy of being taken over.
On one hand, that's really not too surprising, as no matter how divisive some of the plot twists and turns end up becoming, they never cease to generate discussion and interest. Perhaps the greatest example of that phenomenon to date is the endlessly debated cliffhanger ending to season 6, in which fans were shown that Negan murdered a member of Rick's group, but had to wait nearly 8 months to find out who exactly met their maker at the business end of Lucille. Lots of people hated it, but it sure got people talking.
Starting with this past season, Nielsen began its Social Content Ratings initiative, designed to track and measure what shows were being discussed the most during their respective TV airings, and for a few hours before and after that. The Daily Mail reports that -- shock of shocks -- The Walking Dead easily walked away with the top spot in this regard too, with over 2 million social interactions on Facebook and Twitter concerning each episode.
The battle for #1 on the social interactions chart wasn't even close either, with The Walking Dead's closest competitor being FOX's hip-hop industry drama Empire, which clocked in at only 860,000 interactions per episode. Some other notable entries in the top ten include NBC freshman drama This Is Us with 436,000, Saturday Night Live with 365,000, and American Horror Story: Roanoke rounding out the list with 292,000 interactions.
As per usual for The Walking Dead, February's season 7 finale wasn't without its detractors, with some saying that the episode took way too long to get moving and resolved little. Still, others enjoyed the installment, looking forward to the war between Rick's forces and Negan that is promised for season 8. Despite this divide, one thing seems certain: lots of people will be talking about what happens during the premiere.
The Walking Dead season 8 premieres on AMC in October.
Source: The Daily Mail