Walking Dead Ratings & A Dark Future

Yet again, AMC’s “The Walking Dead” proved a ratings juggernaut with this Sunday’s mid-season finale pulling in 14.8 million viewers and 9.6 million adults 18-49 in Live+Same Day numbers. That’s a 23% increase on the audience for last year’s mid-season finale. It is NOT the highest-rated episode of the series which remains the fifth season premiere which pulled in over 17 million viewers.

In the wake of the finale, showrunner Scott Gimple has spoken with Vulture about what to expect in the back half of the fifth season and suggests things will get darker still before they eventually lighten up again:

“It [light] is absolutely on the horizon, but it’s not immediate. And things get worse before they get weird. Gonna be a little more darkness. But the fact that these characters are struggling against that darkness is a function of humanity and a function of light. Things will start to get brighter, but weirder, for this group into the next season.

[They will be in] a very dark place, a very devastated place. And without a direction to go in. Things are going to get harder for this group. But they will change. Who they become from all this is going to put them in a mental state, a physical state that’s very interesting, because they’ll be dealing with very different circumstances. Will they be whole-hearted human beings at that point?”

Asked if there was anything they’ve shot that was too graphic to air, he says they did a scene where “there was a walker being sort of cheese-gratered through a fence. Portions of that did not make the cut. ” He also confirms Michonne’s role gets beefed up in the next half of the season after something of a reduced part recently.

In related news, Deadline reports that actors Frank Dillane and Alycia Debnam Carey have become the first official cast members of AMC’s planned spin-off series which is currently going by the working title of “The Walking Dead Companion Series: Cobalt”. The pair will play the former drug addict son and overly ambitious daughter of the guidance counselor character who is the show’s female lead.