Will “The Walking Dead: Dead City” Revive the Franchise?
Over the past few years, the popularity of The Walking Dead universe has steadily declined, with viewership figures reflecting this downward trend. The flagship series experienced its peak during the fifth season, boasting a remarkable Rotten Tomatoes rating of 90 percent. However, seasons seven and eight witnessed a noticeable decline in quality, scoring only 66 and 65 percent, respectively.
Despite this decline and the gradual loss of viewers for both The Walking Dead and Fear the Walking Dead, AMC has made the bold decision to invest in the franchise by introducing three new spinoffs. The first of these, “The Walking Dead: Dead City,” holds the potential to reignite viewers’ passion for this post-apocalyptic world.
The Decline and Turning Point
The turning point for the flagship series can be traced back to the brutal death of Steven Yeun‘s character, Glenn Rhee, at the beginning of season seven. This shocking event, coupled with a noticeable dip in writing quality, proved too much for many viewers to bear.
While the fifth season saw The Walking Dead averaging over 14 million viewers per episode, subsequent seasons experienced a significant decline. Season 11, in particular, averaged a mere 1.69 million viewers per episode, marking a staggering drop. Despite such a decline, AMC opted to revitalize the franchise by introducing three new shows.
Characters and Potential in “Dead City”
Despite its flaws, The Walking Dead had a roster of beloved characters that helped sustain its fanbase. Norman Reedus‘s Daryl Dixon, a fan favorite, has been rewarded with his own spinoff set in France. Rick and Michonne Grimes, portrayed by Andrew Lincoln and Danai Gurira, respectively, will also receive further exploration in a spinoff.
“Dead City” will focus on the characters of Maggie Rhee (Lauren Cohan) and Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), who previously clashed in The Walking Dead but displayed compelling on-screen chemistry. This fresh pairing presents an opportunity for a new beginning and showcases the series’ potential.
The Resilience of the Franchise
AMC’s decision to expand the franchise with more series may be influenced by the overall health of The Walking Dead franchise. Despite the decline in the flagship series, the franchise continues to thrive through merchandise and games, attracting a significant number of fans. The release of additional spinoffs presents an opportunity for further expansion, potentially leading to future games and products.
Successful games such as Telltale Games’ The Walking Dead, released alongside the third season of the main series, drew attention to the show by featuring original characters and stories that ran parallel to the events of the AMC offering. The Walking Dead online slot game at Party Casino also remains popular, capitalizing on the franchise’s recognition. These related offerings could serve as promotional platforms for “Dead City” as well.
Learning from Past Mistakes
“Dead City” has the chance to chart a new course for The Walking Dead universe, offering surprises and a fresh perspective for viewers. The series benefits from a different showrunner, Eli Jorné, who brings his own ideas to the table. From the trailer, it’s evident that new types of zombies, original villains, and a fresh setting will be introduced, promising an exciting new direction for the franchise.
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