Bringing an end to months of painstaking speculation, rumors and nerve-shredding tension, The Walking Dead returned to the airwaves exactly one month ago for its seventh season. Ratings were off the charts at the outset, with 17 million viewers tuning in to see the extent of Negan’s wrath, but since then, the show’s viewership has been on a steady decline.
As a matter of fact, a report put together by Zap2It revealed that Sunday’s fifth episode, “Go Getters,” pulled in just under 11 million viewers. And though that far exceeds many, many television shows currently on the air, it does mean that TWD‘s ratings have slumped to their lowest point since season 3. Are these figures cause for concern? Frankly, it’s too soon to tell.
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What’s interesting is that that steep decline comes only a few weeks after a handful of vocal fans swore off the show for good, deeming season 7 – and in particular the nail-biting premiere – to be gratuitously violent. Couple this online backlash with the 25 percent drop-off between the premiere and episode two and it does present some food for thought.
Is The Walking Dead simply stuck in a rut? It’s possible. Ratings have been sliding in one direction since season 7 began, and while AMC’s flagship continues to perform overly well in that all-important 18 to 34-year-old demographic, it’ll be interesting to find out whether the show can bounce back from this recent slump.
The Walking Dead season 7 marches on with the premiere of “Swear” on Sunday, November 27. For a more comprehensive breakdown of how the show’s ratings have ebbed and flowed over the seasons, you can take a peek at the graphic below, courtesy of Wikipedia.