When you’re the unarguable king of TV series in terms of ratings, there’s only one direction for those ratings to go ultimately – down.
Without question, AMC’s “The Walking Dead” hit its peak in terms of audience around its fifth or sixth season with the ratings for the show’s various premieres, finales and mid-season episodes having since slid with each year passing.
That trend continued this week as Nielsen Live+Same Day data for the eighth season midseason premiere saw the show drawing a 3.6 rating in adults 18-49 and 8.3 million viewers.
While that’s up from the 3.4 and 7.9 million viewers for the mid-season finale, it’s still the lowest-rated “Walking Dead” midseason premiere to date even with its major farewell to one key character. Previous Live+Same Day results for mid-season premieres have been (first season was just six episodes so no mid-season premiere):
Season 2 (2012) – 4.2 rating, 8.1 million viewers
Season 3 (2013) – 6.1 rating, 12.3 million viewers
Season 4 (2014) – 8.2 rating, 15.8 million viewers
Season 5 (2015) – 8.0 rating, 15.6 million viewers
Season 6 (2016) – 6.8 rating, 13.7 million viewers
Season 7 (2017) – 5.7 rating, 12 million viewers
Season 8 (2018) – 3.6 rating, 8.3 million viewers
Nevertheless, the show was easily the top-rated show on cable on Sunday and remains the number one show on television among adults 18-49 for the sixth season in a row. Angela Kang, who has been a writer on the show since 2011 and co-executive producer since 2013, is replacing Scott Gimple as showrunner next season.