Why is The Walking Dead still on the air? The show once dominated cable television but now airs almost without notice.
Last week The Walking Dead registered 2.89 million viewers. The prior episode was 2.73 million (the Season 10 Special Event in October). At the peak of its popularity, the show was bringing in an average of 15 million viewers. In its Season 5 premier, the show brought in a staggering 17.29 million viewers in 2014.
No other show has seen such a quick, massive ratings decline and stayed on the air.
Where have all of the viewers gone? The question can be answered with its own question: Where have all of the characters gone?
Unfortunately, a show that has made a living by shocking its fans with unexpected deaths at any moment went too many deaths too far. If you polled fans (as we have over the years), the losses of Abraham, Glenn, and Carl took major chunks out of viewership numbers. The departure of Rick Grimes, it’s central character, took all of the rest.
However, AMC continues to hang onto the property. Why? The network has to be betting that viewers will return when Rick Grimes does. When that is, who knows? Or, they’re happy with the minimal viewership numbers they are receiving, which are still better than what most networks are receiving for the same targeted demographic.
Yet, did AMC kill the franchise? Probably so. Had it ran 5-6 seasons, it may have gone down as one of the greatest shows ever on television. Instead, it will be remembered as a zombie. A show that somehow stumbled on when no one is noticing and without the humanity that once made it live.
What do you think about the state of The Walking Dead franchise? Let us know in the comments below!
Covering superheroes, anything dark, horror, and more! Lead writer for Fan Fest